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If you married young (and are still married...)


Chris in VA
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Met and started dating at 19/22, within a few weeks marriage came up, engaged 5 months in, married 1yr at 20/23. 

 

17 yrs now, both converted to the Catholic Church and had our first child 5 years in

 

Neither of us regret for a moment that we married early, we were ready. To me I think you are ready or you are not, the fit is good or not. We were both mature for our age. Now, our marriage isn't perfect, because we're human. I'm glad we didn't wait. I'm glad that we had each other to go through life with. 

 

Oh, I was 2 yrs through college when we got married, being married was not any impediment to finishing my degree. I almost went on to my Master's but didn't not b/c of marriage just b/c I was tired of going to school and wasn't sure if it was worth it. Now if we'd had kids during that time it would have been more difficult but I would have finished barring some kind of catastrophe, it was extremely important to for me to finish.

 

 

If someone really wants a graduate or professional degree, that person will find a way to make it happen- married or single, parent or childless. I'm glad that I didn't go to grad school in my 20's because if I had, it would've probably been the wrong field and a waste of several years and tens of thousands of dollars. I didn't know what I wanted to do for a career until last year at age 38. The field that I'm going into is not something I would've had the patience for without having had the experience of raising a special needs child.

 

I haven't been accepted to grad school yet, but I have a 3.95 GPA in my 2nd bachelor's and strong GRE scores so I'm feeling pretty confident that I will get in somewhere.

It took me 3 tries I think to pick my major and then I only worked 2 yrs before quitting. I honestly don't know that I want to go back to the same field. Really I've got so many interests now that I never would have guessed way back then. 

Edited by soror
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Met at 16/17 in highschool. Married at 19/20. We had been living together for 2 years by that point. We've been married for just over 9 years now. We've had our low points like most every couple, but nothing we haven't been able to work through and the last 4 years or so have been fantastic. 

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Met a month before I turned 18 married 9 months later so I was 18 and he was 21. Had my first child at 20. No regrets, I am very blessed to have found so quickly a great husband and father. On August 2nd, we will have been married 19 years. I am more mature now (I hope) but we matured and changed together which is one of the benefits of marrying young IF it works out.

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We met when I was 19 and he was 18.75.  We married when I was 22 and he was 21.75.  I was done with college and he had one year left.  We married then because my mother was dying and I wanted at least one parent at my wedding.  WE had our first when I was 26 and he was 25.  No, I don't wish we had waited.  If anything, I think I may have wanted to be married earlier.  We are married 31 years in Sept.  We will have been 34 years together then too.  

 

MY middle daughter married at 21 though I think her husband was 27 or 28.  They were together for about 2.5 years. So far, so good.  I think they make a good couple and they seem to be on the same page on parenting, financial, and other major issues.  

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We met when I was 20, married 13 months later when I was 21.  Our first couple of years were really, really rough.  In part, we went to a rather conservative college, and gals were not permitted in the guys' dorms.  I had NO IDEA that he was a complete and absolute slob!  I think it would have been better to wait a year until we both graduated college, just because as newlyweds, I was taking 21 credits and working 30 hours a week...it's hard to establish a good marriage when you're almost never home.  But no marriage is without struggles, and our 13th anniversary is next week.  I think we're doing pretty well!

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Dh and I started dating at 18 and were married at 22.  The year we turned 22, we got married, bought our first house, and had a baby.  We both were a bit wild in our youth and ready to settle down a bit younger than other people.   He was a great fit for my teenage self....not a great pick for a life partner.  All in all, we have made it work.  I majorly shifted my goals, and have great kids so show for it.  We are still together because I want our kids raised as a family, not in a split household.  The kids, have and always will be my first priority.  While I have a lot of regrets in my own life, looking back, I do not regret that choice and I never will. 

 

 

The main problem I have had in our marriage, is that by having an unplanned baby so young, only one of us could really have a career.  So, while I have worked full time since before ds was born, I have always had to have a flexible job to accommodate having a child.  Dh has a career, but I have a job with zero future. I am an  pharmacy tech for a national chain that is going under, so our wages are well below other companies.  He is in upper management so he has to travel. I wouldn't put the kids in full time plus, daycare so I could work and go to school. I made this decision and I live with it, and try to have peace, but it is hard when I talk to my friends who managed a career and children. 

 

When we were young I saw dh differently than I do now.  I thought he was extremely hard working and tried really hard to make sure our family had what we needed. I admired that trait back then.  He worked his job and then went after work to help a friend who was building a new business. The idea back then, was that the friend was supposed to make him a partner in the business as it grew. He never did, so the time dh put in, was for naught. The way I see it looking back, is that he built his own career and helped to build his friends career, over mine.  I used to tell him that back then, but he was so convinced that it was going to work out, that he couldn't see it. 

 

 After having children and dropping out of college, I realized dh was a workaholic and that I would never have a chance to do anything more that I was doing. I didn't pick being a pharmacy tech, the opportunity landed in my lap (trained on the job), and was supposed to be a temporary gig. I was in college and had bigger plans.  He wasn't willing to help me with the kids, or to stop helping his friend so I could finish school, so I had to drop out. Here I sit 20 years later and still doing the same job, that any 18yo with 6mths of school can do.  

 

Until we had kids, there was no way for me to know that this is who he was.  There wasn't a way to foresee it. He always verbally supported me going to college, but in reality he wouldn't help watch the kids so I could actually go.  We didn't have family to help so I didn't have that as an option like a lot of my friends did.

 

Edited by Tap
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What age were you when you met your spouse and started dating (I mean, you might have known them for a while, but if you met and started dating, what age?)--And do you wish you'd waited a bit? Did you have struggles as a young married that you think waiting would have helped with (would you have developed maturity if you'd waited)?

 

Nosy, I know.

 

I met my dh when I was 13 and he was 16.  I wasn't allowed to date until 16 so we were good friends.  He came back from Germany (he was in the Army) when I was 16 so he could take me on my first date.   We got married when I was 19 and he was 23.   

 

Nope...don't wish I had waited...he was the best thing to happen to me and getting out of our small town.   We had many struggles in our marriage...he was active duty for the first year and won a scholarship while deployed to go back to college.  For the next 8 year we basically lived in poverty to go to college to become what he is today.  It was worth all the struggles and hardwork...we wouldn't change a thing.   

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DH and I started dating in March, were engaged in April, and married in August. I was 21 (almost 22) and we had only known each other a year.

 

Our first couple of years of marriage were incredibly hard because we were "playing house" and didn't know each other very well. I also found out that I was pregnant with DS right before our first anniversary. It was a tough time.

 

We have grown up together and love each other very much. There is no one that I can think of on this earth that is better for me. We'll have been married 13 years this year. 

 

I would recommend to anyone that they wait, date longer, have a longer engagement, and get to know the person well before marrying. It worked out for us but I think that's because from the beginning our religious/political/life overview beliefs are identical.

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Until we had kids, there was no way for me to know that this is who he was.  There wasn't a way to foresee it. He always verbally supported me going to college, but in reality he wouldn't help watch the kids so I could actually go.  We didn't have family to help so I didn't have that as an option like a lot of my friends did.

 

I chose an online degree program for my 2nd bachelor's over an in-person one because I can do it around my family's schedule. Many, if not most, of my classmates are moms. Today there are tons of options for online degrees from respected schools. AZ State, UT State, CO State, Univ. of MD, etc. You don't need to be stuck in a dead-end job just because you can't attend a B&M college.

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We met when I was 20, married 13 months later when I was 21.  Our first couple of years were really, really rough.  In part, we went to a rather conservative college, and gals were not permitted in the guys' dorms.  I had NO IDEA that he was a complete and absolute slob!  I think it would have been better to wait a year until we both graduated college, just because as newlyweds, I was taking 21 credits and working 30 hours a week...it's hard to establish a good marriage when you're almost never home.  But no marriage is without struggles, and our 13th anniversary is next week.  I think we're doing pretty well!

This made me laugh! My college roommate was a total slob but always told her boyfriend that was me. After they had been marrie a few months, he came up to me and said he wish he had known! 

 

She got married 3 weeks before me. I was 22 so was my dh and my roommate and her hubby, too. We will all celebrate 24 years of marriage next month. We went on a great trip to celebrate 20 years and hope to celebrate 25 together. 

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I chose an online degree program for my 2nd bachelor's over an in-person one because I can do it around my family's schedule. Many, if not most, of my classmates are moms. Today there are tons of options for online degrees from respected schools. AZ State, UT State, CO State, Univ. of MD, etc. You don't need to be stuck in a dead-end job just because you can't attend a B&M college.

Thanks for the idea. but I can't add one more thing to my day.  I work full time and am raising my special needs niece. I work 6 days a week (2 full days/4 half days) to accommodate her schedule (we have to have 2 adults with her at almost all times) and we have an average of 6-7 standing appointments a week right now.  (her OT, PT, VT and my PT, and DD17s PT and VT).  I figured it out one time and if I add appointments to my work schedule, I am out of the house 60 hours a week just for just work and drs appts.   I am essentially a single parent and always have been.  I am tired and my 'going back to school' ship has sailed. 

 

I tried an adult degree completion program twice and had to drop out both times, due to lack of support at home.  I just can't do school and be a parent at the same time.  

Edited by Tap
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 we have an average of 6-7 standing appointments a week right now.  (her OT, PT, VT and my PT, and DD17s PT and VT).  I figured it out one time and if I add appointments to my work schedule, I am out of the house 60 hours a week just for just work and drs appts.  

 

I can definitely sympathize with that. My SN child has therapy of one type or the other every single weekday. Thank goodness for the mobile app that allows me to watch my lectures on my phone/iPad while I'm sitting in waiting rooms.

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I can definitely sympathize with that. My SN child has therapy of one type or the other every single weekday. Thank goodness for the mobile app that allows me to watch my lectures on my phone/iPad while I'm sitting in waiting rooms.

That would be nice to have a few hours of scheduled quiet time each week. We are still in the phase where I am in her sessions with her.  Maybe someday we will get to that point. Her therapists want me there so I know what to work on and to help keep her on task.  She gets a bit distracted without me.

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That would be nice to have a few hours of scheduled quiet time each week. We are still in the phase where I am in her sessions with her.  Maybe someday we will get to that point. Her therapists want me there so I know what to work on and to help keep her on task.  She gets a bit distracted without me.

 

Is there nothing self paced you can do? My brother has taken some courses that were.

On the other hand, you've got enough on your plate already.  :grouphug:

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Is there nothing self paced you can do? My brother has taken some courses that were.

On the other hand, you've got enough on your plate already.  :grouphug:

Honestly, that is just it.  I am maxed out.  I don't even want to go right now.    I always thought I would go back when my older two were school aged, but then we unexpectedly ended up with dd9.  She was supposed to only be her a few months, while her parents pulled their lives together.  When we took her in (foster care) I thought that I would still be able to go back to school, once she was back home.  That was 9 years ago. LOL We finalized her guardianship on her at 2yo, so she won't be going back. I don't konw if she will ever live independently.  I knew that my education was a price to be paid for her safety and stability.  I made that decision with a clear conscious, but I will always be a bit jealous when I hear about my friends careers, opportunities, and promotions. It just is, what it is.  I don't dwell on it otherwise.  I just mentioned it because it was one of those things that people don't know about until after they are married and have kids. 

 

Quite often here, people are willing to voice the positives and things that have worked out for them in life.  I have been fairly open about my life, marriage and raising DD because I think that people need to also hear about the less sparkly parts of life. About what happens when things don't go as planned. About how, even in the worst of times, we just have to pick up and move on sometimes.  I know you understand that better than any mom should have to  :grouphug: .  Sometimes I have to just trust that there is a rainbow on the other side of the rain clouds because I sure cant see it from where I am, at the moment. And yes, we all do have a limit to what we can handle gracefully.  Sometimes life, it is just about surviving to the next day. 

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Met when I was 19 and he was 21. Married 2 years later. We are coming up on our 30th anniversary in August.

We are both more mature now obviously. It would be discouraging to think we hadn't grown at all into less selfish people. Commitment is key. Sometimes life gets rough. We have weathered the death of family members, unplanned moves, recessions and job changes but here we are hoping to spend our last years together and sail to our heavenly harbor.

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Met at 16 and married at 18. The good side is that we started saving early and having kids reasonably young still. The bad side is we both grew and changed and in some ways are quite different people who might have chosen differently now. Overall I don't think there's any right or wrong answers to how to do life.

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We met at 17, our senior year of high school and began dating. We got married at 22, we were trying to finish college first.  We were married almost 9 years by the time we had first child after years of infertility treatments/tests and the adoption.  No regrets about age of marriage.  We will be celebrating 30 yrs this September.  We have had our share of tough times but I'm still glad he is the one I'm on this journey with, we balance each other. 

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Thinking about this thread more, I think the most that we struggled with early on was anyone taking our marriage seriously. We had a lot of people assuming our relationship was a phase or some weird way we were asserting ourselves as adults and it would all be a huge mistake that we'd look back on with regret. We had people taking bets at our reception as to how long we'd last. There was money involved. It was very hurtful to have 'loved' ones assume we weren't going to work out b/c of our being some arbitrary young age for marrying. 

 

A large amount of our struggles would have been nonexistent early on if our FOO (both mine and his) had accepted our marriage with open arms and lovingly understood that we were our own family unit now and our loyalties must lie with each other. Dh received a lot of pushback from his FOO for not spending his entire 2 weeks of leave from deployment with me and 1dd instead of them, for his calling me every day while deployed and not them, etc. MIL used his time gone to let the talons out and would call me and chew me out for stealing away her amazing son. If I hadn't had my 1dd (with him) at the time, I would have left him in a hot minute due to his family's treatment of me. So, please, if your (general you) child is marrying or does marry young, please be respectful and kind towards their spouse. You are only hurting your child, IMO. 

 

PSA over. ;)

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DH and I met when I was 18 and he was 20.  We started dating 7 or so months later.  DH proposed quickly, and we were engaged for about 13 months, so DH was 22 and I was 20.  We were both in the USN and serving on opposite sides of the planet ie Spain and Southern Cal.  DH flew out and we were married in Gibraltar.  Our first child was born 9 years later and after we had both left the service and completed university.  School and work was great for us.  We loved the experience and paid our own way too.  Pushy parents has been our biggest issue.

 

My biggest regret is not knowing his family better, which did not become a problem until I was pregnant with DS, and then things became very difficult for us.  MIL is pushy in the extreme and FIL has some issues.  It took some time, but we learned how to deal with our extended family and everything is fine now.  Honestly though, there was a time that I regretted marrying DH, and he is a great man.  

 

The ILLs,,,Wow...The stuff his parents pulled was too much for me.  The concept of leaving and cleaving was not in their vocabulary.  I have no problems telling my people to back off if they over step boundaries, and DS never deals with my people when stuff is going down.  Things have improved thankfully.  Since then, we had another child when DH was 40 and I was 37.  We've been married 25.5 years.

 

 

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We started dating at 15, had a tough long distance relationship through college (he was at USNA and was overwhelmed, never slept, we barely saw each other) and then I moved in with him after graduation when I was 22 (after finishing up my undergrad and masters in 4 years).  We were married with a kid the next year, and have been married for 17 years.  It was amazing how much work we had to put in after marriage -- years of secondary infertility, his awful hours when when he was in a squadron and deployed, our inability to have disagreements effectively (I scream, he shuts down), the housing crash, our different approaches to child raising, his health issues and depression when he went through spinal surgery... Seems like every 2-3 years there's some new test.  But with maturity comes the ability to make better decisions.  We let a lot more of the small stuff slide, we take things a lot less personally -- we just kind of roll with the punches more. But then again we are in the good spot now.  In two years he'll be retiring and looking for a civilian job. we'll be moving most likely across country again, he wants the kids back in school by 7th (I was thinking 9th...) and after they are back in I will need to figure out what to do with my life so that I don't feel like we've spent the majority of our life on his career and I will end up just sitting around twiddling my thumbs! 

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Met DH in high school Trig class-- I was 16 and he was 17.  I told another student " who could kiss a guy with that big of a nose?"...  We did go out ONCE in high school-- I sort of stood up in class and begged someone to drive me to a popular movie my boyfriend had gone to with his family-- we actually picked out our engagement ring that night!!! (partly as a joke).  We were  officially engaged 2 weeks after I turned 18-- about one month after we started to date... married 1.5 years later at 19 and 20.

 

It was HARD being 'starving college students'.  I worked 20-40 hours per week and DH had a trust fund (our safety net).  2 weeks after we married my mother was DXed with breast cancer.  She passed 2 years later a few weeks before my college graduation.  DH had dropped out of college (became grocery store manager)-- after I graduated he changed his major and 2 years after that he graduated and got an amazing job across country.  We moved away from family and DD1 was born when I was 25 and DH was 26. 

 

No real regrets-- I seriously doubt we would have married if we would have waited until after college.  Very thankful that we waited to have children until we were both out of college. 

 

We have been married 31 years! 

 

Older girls were homeschooled and both have graduated from college... oldest dd is almost 26 and has just started dating (I think the stories about our struggles made her wait), middle dd is heading off to grad school in the UK this fall and youngest dd will start high school in a few weeks!

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Thinking about this thread more, I think the most that we struggled with early on was anyone taking our marriage seriously. We had a lot of people assuming our relationship was a phase or some weird way we were asserting ourselves as adults and it would all be a huge mistake that we'd look back on with regret. We had people taking bets at our reception as to how long we'd last. There was money involved. It was very hurtful to have 'loved' ones assume we weren't going to work out b/c of our being some arbitrary young age for marrying.

 

While I doubt anyone placed monetary bets on how long my marriage would last, I definitely got a lot of the bolded. I also got a lot of nosy questions about whether I was pregnant, especially when we moved up our wedding date by 18 months (nope, I never was pregnant AFAIK until 3 years after we married).

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While I doubt anyone placed monetary bets on how long my marriage would last, I definitely got a lot of the bolded. I also got a lot of nosy questions about whether I was pregnant, especially when we moved up our wedding date by 18 months (nope, I never was pregnant AFAIK until 3 years after we married).

 

My youngest aunt and her husband (DINKs who travel abroad for vacation all the time all over the world) said they wouldn't come to the wedding, but would come to the divorce. They were the only people I thought might attend from my side, other than my parents and brother, since we got married in Texas and all my family is in The Netherlands. So, that was a bit disappointing. But yeah, nobody took us seriously.

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My youngest aunt and her husband (DINKs who travel abroad for vacation all the time all over the world) said they wouldn't come to the wedding, but would come to the divorce. They were the only people I thought might attend from my side, other than my parents and brother, since we got married in Texas and all my family is in The Netherlands. So, that was a bit disappointing. But yeah, nobody took us seriously.

 

Wow, that is so incredibly rude.  

 

My MIL wouldn't watch our wedding.  She stared at the side wall as if it wasn't really happening if she didn't see it.  I didn't know this since she was behind me, but a few people told me about it after the ceremony.

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 We had people taking bets at our reception as to how long we'd last. There was money involved. It was very hurtful to have 'loved' ones assume we weren't going to work out b/c of our being some arbitrary young age for marrying. 

 

 

 

This happened at our wedding, too, but I don't think there was money involved.

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We had a JoP ceremony with only one of DH's officer basic course buddies and his GF there as witnesses. Both families said they would wait for our reception scheduled for 18 mos later. But when my youngest brother and his fiancee had a JoP ceremony (he was 30 and she was 26), my parents and several relatives traveled to be there rather than just waiting for their big reception. :glare:

 

On the flip side, my other brother has been experiencing pressure from my parents to marry ever since since he hit his 30's. Apparently there is an acceptable age range for marriage in my parents' mind that is tightly clustered around 30. :001_rolleyes:

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Met and started dating at 19/22, within a few weeks marriage came up, engaged 5 months in, married 1yr at 20/23. 

 

17 yrs now, both converted to the Catholic Church and had our first child 5 years in

 

Neither of us regret for a moment that we married early, we were ready. To me I think you are ready or you are not, the fit is good or not. We were both mature for our age. Now, our marriage isn't perfect, because we're human. I'm glad we didn't wait. I'm glad that we had each other to go through life with. 

 

Oh, I was 2 yrs through college when we got married, being married was not any impediment to finishing my degree. I almost went on to my Master's but didn't not b/c of marriage just b/c I was tired of going to school and wasn't sure if it was worth it. Now if we'd had kids during that time it would have been more difficult but I would have finished barring some kind of catastrophe, it was extremely important to for me to finish.

 

 

It took me 3 tries I think to pick my major and then I only worked 2 yrs before quitting. I honestly don't know that I want to go back to the same field. Really I've got so many interests now that I never would have guessed way back then. 

 

I didn't marry young, though only because I hadn't anyone to marry, but I have thought that I likely would have been a better student married than unmarried.  I liked my program, but I was emotionally fraught a lot of the time, and just felt very unstable, and that took a lot of energy.  Most of that disapeared when I was in a serious relationship and married.  And it's not that I was into persuing boys a lot either, I was just so not settled.

 

Had I married in university, I guess it's likely that if my husband had also been a student we'd have been poor, but I was already poor and my roommates were too.  A husband might have actually saved me some money since we could have shared a room.

 

I've never really understood insisting that young people wait to finish universiity to marry because it will negatively impact their studies.  Now that I am older, I know quite a lot of married students, and they generally seem to be much more focused and mature about their work.

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Wow, I'm so sorry for all of you who had family being nasty or dismissive of your relationships because you were young!  Coming from an LDS family, I did not have that problem.  Marriage during college is the norm at BYU (and often kids, too).  One student in my Hebrew class brought his little son to class every day, and the professor would hold and play with the baby during timed tests.

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I have really enjoyed reading all of your stories. Sad that I wasn't able to be one of them. I have thought long and hard about young marriages......I don't think that youth is the thing that dooms those marriages.....except to the extent that some young people really have no idea what they want their life to be like and end up married to a person who wants very different things.

 

And sometimes one person isn't honest about his/her lack of clarity about their life plans.....they go along to get along and the person who knows their mind is clueless. I don't know a person weeds out the dishonest or non focused potentials.

 

I think this is an area where parents ( some parents or other mentors) can guide and help if done so without trying to control. Older people can often see around corners that young people can't. Such involvement can get out of control and so sometimes parents who have witnessed over involvement or even been a victim of it, think that a total hands off approach is best for their young teens. There has to be a middle ground.....teens really still need the advice of parents or mentors of some kind.

 

I am struggling with this with my son right now. He is 16. I just had a conversation with him the other day about the level of involvement that is going on with an 18 year old friend of his. They are friends. I believe that. But I told him he is currently in a tunnel and there is a train coming that he isn't aware of and I just want him to get out of the tunnel before he gets run over by the train. He was highly amused by me. :/ :)

 

I just reminded him he is too young to be romantically involved....he needs to graduate high school and be able to support himself at least. Time will tell if he listens. Heavens knows I didn't. But my mom did drop the ball somewhat because she was afraid I would rebel if she expressed her opinion more strongly.

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While I doubt anyone placed monetary bets on how long my marriage would last, I definitely got a lot of the bolded. I also got a lot of nosy questions about whether I was pregnant, especially when we moved up our wedding date by 18 months (nope, I never was pregnant AFAIK until 3 years after we married).

 

My MIL and her sister kept trying to get hubby to get a divorce for a while.  They assumed a baby was involved (there wasn't).  Otherwise they were upset that "I" got him to leave the church (ie, the Methodist church - the only acceptable option - we attended a different denomination in college and after marrying).  MIL never really accepted me into her family until after Alzheimers started to hit her.  I guess that's a weird perk.

 

My dad wouldn't come to my wedding, but that wasn't due to my age.  That's because I invited my mom and wanted to let her sit where the mother of the bride traditionally sits.  Since I had lived with him from age 11 to senior year of high school and her only for senior year and when I came home for vacations from college (after leaving him due to what I'd find out later was his mental illness), he thought he should have the top spot.  He was adamant.

 

Ah memories.  :glare:

 

But we're less than a week now from celebrating 28 years together - happily.  I love my guy!

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I met DH at 18, and married at 21. We celebrate our 24th anniversary this fall. I think the first year was hard because we're very different and neither of us ever lived with anyone before. We're still going strong all these years later, but sometimes I think that the fact that we grew together rather than apart has as much to do with luck as anything we did.

 

We're still very happy and I know have a daughter who is older than I was when I met her father. It's weird. I feel older, but not THAT much. If I had a do-over, I'd do most things the exact same way :-)

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 I made this decision and I live with it, and try to have peace, but it is hard when I talk to my friends who managed a career and children. 

 

When we were young I saw dh differently than I do now.  I thought he was extremely hard working and tried really hard to make sure our family had what we needed. I admired that trait back then.  He worked his job and then went after work to help a friend who was building a new business. The idea back then, was that the friend was supposed to make him a partner in the business as it grew. He never did, so the time dh put in, was for naught. The way I see it looking back, is that he built his own career and helped to build his friends career, over mine.  I used to tell him that back then, but he was so convinced that it was going to work out, that he couldn't see it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I knew that my education was a price to be paid for her safety and stability. 

 

. And yes, we all do have a limit to what we can handle gracefully.  Sometimes life, it is just about surviving to the next day. 

 

 

I've read many of your stories here and appreciate the transparency in which you've shared your struggles.

 

With that, I have two things to say, neither of which are related.

 

First, I think many dhs think that the workaholic tendency, which they may not even recognize themselves as having, is really benefiting the family. I absolutely realize that this is distorted thinking. However, it may be that your dh felt like this extra work with the business partner would result in financial freedom for your family. In other words, if all had worked out, it wouldn't even be a financial necessity that you worked outside the home. At any rate, the distorted thinking still has damaging results. I'm not really sure how to get a workaholic to see this, but I do see it as a good thing (hard work) being taken way out of perspective and damage comes.

 

Second, your friends with great careers while balancing that with a family, likely had neurotypical children. I'm sure they are lovely people but they didn't save a child. You did, and you continue to do so. If one is looking at the larger picture, your contribution to society may well surpass all of theirs combined. You made the hard choice and are sacrificing for it. Most people (really, the VAST majority) wouldn't have the character to do this. I'm not saying your future might look different if you reach a capacity and need to change your caring situation, but what you've done so far is not a task most people have the strength to do, particularly without a solid support system.

 

Anyway, I know you didn't share to get commended, but I thought you should anyway.

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We met at and started dating young, and married three years later at 20 and 23.  We were married for some of college, and all of law school for him.  I'm very, very thankful that we listened to some advice from friends and waited to have children.  We traveled some and discovered hobbies together.  It would have added so much stress on us to support children during the first five years.  I wish we had traveled more and explored other places to live, though I'm happy where we are located.  We make great decisions together, and bad decisions together, so we certainly have our moments.  It also helps to have a good support system.  We are really close with my extended family, and fairly close with his. (They are farther away from us.)  I think some of it is luck and some of it is compatibility. I truly think it helped us to have the same level of adventure, and a wide range of hobbies.  It helps not that our children have very eclectic interests too.  We just enjoy being together. (Well- except for those days everyone has!) Ex- Last night at midnight, we were in the car driving slowly around our neighborhood trying to catch pokemon so we'd have more than our kids. -Ok-maybe we're both just really immature and clueless!!

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What age were you when you met your spouse and started dating (I mean, you might have known them for a while, but if you met and started dating, what age?)--And do you wish you'd waited a bit? Did you have struggles as a young married that you think waiting would have helped with (would you have developed maturity if you'd waited)?

 

Nosy, I know.

 

Met and married (6 months later). We did not struggle as a young couple (well he is 5 yrs older so). I was mature enough to get married so no changes there. If I could go back in time I would have waited longer before having kids. 

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Dh and I met when we were 17 & 20. We married 9 months later after I turned 18. We waited 5 years (until we finished college and were financially stable) to have children. God willing, we will celebrate 25 years in December.

 

We have had our rough patches, and some people in the same situation may have split up. In my view, the keys to our success have been:

 

- family support: my parents allowed us to live with them until we finished college, so we were not penalized financially or educationally for marrying young. This saved us from a lot of the stresses of getting established early on.

- shared values: even coming from different cultures, dh and I agreed on spiritual and family values that have formed the basis of our relationship

- strong character: everyone makes mistakes, but we both have lines we will not cross and morals that are non-negotiable, resulting in a foundation of trust

- empathy/compassion: we each want what is best for the other, and try to make each other's lives easier and respect our unique contributions to our family and relationship

 

We are very different people, have opposite personalities and divergent interests, which can be a point of contention. However, due to the strong foundational elements listed above, we continue to strive to understand each other, appreciate and even value our differences, because the weaknesses of one are perfectly complemented by the strengths of the other, if only they are respected.

 

I absolutely do not regret my choice. I agree with the others who have said being stable romantically made it much easier to focus on my studies. Sure, it's possible I could have met someone who has more common interests, but there is no guarantee I would have, or if the work put into tracking him down would have been worth it and when found, if he would have been a man of anwavering character like dh. Nope, not even worth considering the "what ifs".

 

Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk

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