Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Marrying young was right for me.

My husband and I started dating when I was 19 and he was 20.  I had just turned 20 when he was proposed.  I was 21 when we got married.

I was 23 when we closed on our first house.  I got pregnant not long after, and I turned 24 a few weeks before giving birth to our son, our first and (so far) only child.

I'm not going to lie and say that things have always been easy.  We've both make a thousand mistakes, and will probably make a few million more.  We've been through illness, unemployment, double employment, times when money was tight, and times when we were just flat-out broke.

But, here we are, just a couple of weeks from my son's birthday, and a few more weeks from our 5-year-anniversary.  And it's crazy to think that I've been with my husband for 19% of my life (27% if you count dating).  And, obviously, with every year, that percentage just goes up and up.

Yes, we've both changed and grown in the past 7 years.  But we've grown together, not apart.  And I've always thought that particular argument against young marriage was ridiculous, the old, "You don't know who you're going to be at 20, wait until you know who you are."
Okaaay...Does that mean you won't change between 30 and 40?  Or 40 and 50?  We're always changing.

The difference for me is that I've grown up and changed with someone who has understood me every step of the way and who, most importantly, gets me in all the small ways.  People think it's the big things that bring you together or tear you apart but really, it's the small stuff that makes or breaks you.  My husband and I are more likely to argue over whether or not he forgot to lock the deadbolt than finances or politics.  And, while I expect him to stand by me when I'm sick, we bond more closely over stupid things, like last night when we made a YouTube playlist of '90s songs we missed.  ("Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind, "Absolutely" by Nine Days, "I Want You" by Savage Garden, etc.)

And I never have to worry about him missing the movie quotes or inside jokes or song lyrics or anything like that because he was there for all of it.  He's been my best friend for 7 years, so he's the one I made the jokes with, or watched (seriously, every last one) all the dumb Trey Parker & Matt Stone movies with, or made listen to every single Flogging Molly album on repeat in the dorm room.  We share a language and cultural identity that we forged together in our passing from late childhood to early adulthood.

Though babies always, to an extent, strain a relationship, in the long-run, our son has only added to ours.  Once we were responsible for a child, we had to figure out how to be adults together.  It wasn't always easy, but it was special because we did it as a team.  Now our son is just the third member of our happy little gang.  (We're still working through his initiation, since babies aren't great doing shots.)

So, yes.  I'm one of those morons who got married before she had a degree or a career or a ton of dating experience (and whatever good that's supposed to do).  But I wouldn't change any of it.

I like to think my husband wouldn't either.

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