Friday, 22 August 2014

Young Marriage: 8 Common Questions.


The subject of marrying young is one I've meant to address in some form for a while now. It's one we get asked about a lot, and it often feels like people struggle to ask us about our wedding/marriage without our age slipping into the equation! As such, it's a topic I have a fair bit to say on. I'll often find myself jotting down my thoughts on my iPad, and I thought it was about time I made something of them. Whether you're another young couple considering marriage, or the idea of young marriage makes your toes curl, I hope this post can shed some light and provide a little food for thought.

Why didn't you wait until you were a bit older?

Grant proposed on my 19th birthday, and initially we intended to have a fairly long engagement. People expected us to wait until we'd graduated from university, settled into careers, put a deposit down on a house, etc, and we thought it best to oblige those social expectations. However, a year later we began to question what was holding us back. My family were in a position where they could afford to help pay for a wedding, our loved ones were all happy and healthy, and our long summer break from university would provide us with the perfect opportunity to plan a wedding. Everything lined up perfectly - the only thing holding us back was social expectation, which we realised was quite silly. We decided to seize the day and settled on a date in September.

Did you always want to get married young?
By no means! My parents married at 20 and 24 after only eight months together, but always taught me that their relationship was the exception, not the rule. I was the last in my friendship group at school to take an interest in boys, and rather fancied spending my adulthood living alone on top on an isolated hill, surrounded by cats, writing my novels, and chasing away any callers with a pointy stick. Even when Grant and I first started dating at 15, I didn't expect it to last forever. However, our relationship got better and better over the years, and by the time we were readying ourselves for university, I realised I couldn't picture a future without him in it.

What did your parents think?

My parents were surprised, that's for sure! As much as I love them, Grant rightly assumed that the tradition of asking for the father's blessing made me squirm, so it was as much a surprise for my parents as it was for me. However, they were happy for us; they trusted our judgment and knew we'd be sensible about it. When we first saw them after Grant proposed, they bought us a bottle of champagne and celebrated with us. They were our rock during wedding planning, and we wouldn't have been able to pull off such a memorable, magical day without their help.

Wasn't there so much more you wanted to do before settling down?
This is possibly the most infuriating question we get asked. Aside from seeing other people -which has absolutely no appeal to me considering I'm already utterly besotted with someone- there is nothing our relationship holds us back from. If anything, we encourage one another to live richer lives. As I mentioned earlier, before I got together with Grant I wanted nothing more than a solitary life of writing and cuddling cats. Nowadays, whenever an opportunity comes my way, Grant will kick me up the arse and make sure I damn well seize it. He's made my life so, so much better, and I'm doing far more now than I ever would have alone. Grant inspires me to live my life to the fullest, and yes, that includes doing things without him. If I ever wanted to go backpacking alone for a few months (unlikely as that is!) I know Grant would support me, and vice versa. We do a lot together, but we also know our differences keep our relationship interesting!


Are you planning on having children soon?
Ahhh, this old chestnut! If we had a pound for every time people presumptuously asked us about plans to start a family we'd be able to take a nice, long holiday. When we first got engaged, we discovered that a fair few people from our past had assumed I was pregnant. After all, why else would a couple under the age of 25 willingly tie the knot (/sarcasm)? Of course, they were all bitterly disappointed nine months later when my tummy was still flat and there wasn't a baby in sight. Grant and I have no plans to start a family in the near future - our choice to get married stemmed purely from our desire to spend our lives together, and to become our own little family unit.

Would you advocate getting married young?
Regardless of age, I think marriage is always something that should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. I'm not telling every 18-21 year old couple out there to get married, not by any means. I strongly believe that cases where marriage is the right path for young people are the exception, not the rule, however I do know it was the right path for us, my parents, and a number of our friends. Hopefully this post will help people who cringe at the thought of young marriage be a little more open minded and subjective; if your friend, child, or other family member gets engaged at a young age, just try and be respectful, even if you are a little dubious. By all means, ask questions, but use a little tact and grace. Chances are they know their decision will ruffle a few feathers, and they'll appreciate your honesty.

Isn't it weird being a married student?
In short, yes, it is a bit odd. I'm already a bit older than the other students in my seminars, but as soon as they spy the wedding ring on my finger I can hear their chairs shuffling away from mine. It doesn't take long for students to single you out as 'other', but I suppose it's an inevitability. On the whole, I don't mind. I've made a couple of incredible friends at university, but I met most of my friends nowadays through blogging and similar interests, so I don't feel I'm missing out. My social life is a fair bit different to that of a 'normal' uni student, but by no means does that mean it's inferior.

How has marriage changed your relationship?
Grant and I lived together, paid rent/bills together, bought groceries together and bickered over laundry before we got married, so in some ways our relationship hasn't really changed on the surface. I think that's the way for most couple's now; there are very few couples who don't live together and largely act like a traditional 'married couple' before they get married. Personally, I think it's wonderful, and puts couples in a far better position to decide if marriage is truly the right path for them. The biggest change for us has been a underlying sense of family and commitment. I decided not to change my name when we got married, however Grant decided to take my name so we would be Mr and Mrs McMinn, and I'm incredibly grateful he did. Being our own family unit is the most incredible feeling, and having the same surname really cements that for us.

42 comments:

  1. So honest Megan. I really admire your relationship, to know at a young age that you're so sure together. It's fabulous :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really loved reading this post! You can never truly tell what's going on in a relationship from the outside and it's crazy how judgemental people can be. This whole article was written with such a refreshing, open-minded outlook, and it wasn't until I read some of your points that I realised that when I think about my own future with my partner (whom I adore yet our relationship was definitely unexpected and a bit of a curveball) I write off so many possibilities simply due to what others might think, to comply with social norms. This has really opened my eyes about how every relationship is different and might progress at a different pace. Your parents are clearly a perfect example of that. Great post, Megan, and I wish you and Grant a lifetime of happiness together xx

    http://blog.doodleheart.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a really honest post, which I really admire. There does seem to be a lot of stigma surrounding marrying young, but I think, if it would make you happy, then go for it! I'm so glad it has worked out for you :) x

    ellenunderwater.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  4. I completely admire you for marrying young! I have been with my boyfriend since I was thirteen, and it will be our ten year anniversary together in December! Everyone finds it so odd that we've been together so long, and we often get asked when we will be getting married! I'm twenty three and Liam is twenty five, so it's not something I'd be against :)

    I always think that love isn't who you want to spend the rest of your life with, it's who you couldn't imagine life without :) And I think you realise that at any age :)

    www.ceejayell.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  5. I loved reading this post, its not common for people to express their personal lives so openly on their blog. I don't personally think you should have to justify why you were married younger than the norm and to be honest - not too many years ago we'd be considered 'past the post' getting married later than 25 anyway! If you're happy, why shouldn't you :)

    I've been with my boyfriend for 4 years and I'm always told that I'm too young to settle down and that I should be living my life before I commit to someone - but not everyone needs single life and rampant sex/alcohol filled teens and twenties to feel 'fulfilled'. I'd happily settle down with Josh for the rest of my life right this instant but the only thing really holding either of us back is finances! :)

    I really admire you Megan. X

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was very impressed to read that Grant took your surname. It's really not a common thing for the gents to do and I know a fair few who wouldn't even consider it because 'it's not traditional' or some such rubbish. Even my current boyfriend talks more about double-barrelling than taking the woman's name. Hopefully there will come a point when all guys are as relaxed and open-minded as yours. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I got married a few months ago and although I'm a few years older than you I look quite a bit younger than I am (or so I've been told, haha) and I have had so many strangers whether it be someone at work or a shop assistant when I'm buying something at the supermarket act so shocked when I mention my husband or question 'are you married?!' when they spy the ring!
    It seems that for the time being it's the fashion to be 'scared' of commitment!
    Younger people seem to think that being married stops you from doing things, well for me it is quite the opposite. I've just landed a new job and my other half will be moving with me to the other side of the country to support me, and frankly I couldn't have done it without him :)
    Thanks for this post Megan Xx

    Zandra // AZTEC DOLL Fashion & Beauty Blog

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great post! My boyfriend and I have been together since we were 16 (25 now) and I've only recently started feeling ready to think about getting married, despite the fact that I knew I wanted to be with him forever a few years ago. So it's definitely not a must to get married even if you meet young.

    I completely agree about young marriage 'not holding you back' though! Being with another person who supports you gives you the freedom to try everything you want. If they are holding you back, then there are some serious problems in your relationship.

    A lovely post, and very happy for you and your husband x

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is a great post particularly for young people who are in a long term relationship/married, and I couldn't agree more about the opportunities bit, after being within my boyfriend for nearly 6 years in currently in belgium for a years placement and he has been incredible, told me to go for it and supported me all the way :) thanks for writing it!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love this, it's something that so many people don't understand and always consider you to be 'rushing into it'. I'm happy to see someone has written something so honest and hopefully people can finally start to understand that there is nothing wrong with marrying young!

    Beautiful post Megan.

    Issy
    missisgoode.blogspot.co.uk
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. This was really beautiful to read, and wonderful to see your wedding photos again too because you had some of the prettiest wedding photos I've seen in the blogosphere! My partner and I are getting married next year, after seven years together. We will both be 23 and have lived together for 5 years, and while we were originally going to wait until we graduated and had enough to put down a deposit for a house - like you said there is no need to stick to tradition!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Aww I think this is the most beautiful post - I've always felt like if you know that your going to spend the rest of your life with someone then there is nothing holding you back. I also didn't realise that Grant had taken your last name which is lovely too <3 Gisforgingers xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. I also got married young, my husband and I started dating when we were 16 and everyone thought we wouldn't last. Sure enough we made it thru high school and then he proposed when I was 19 too! We got married a year later in a small little ceremony in my parent's back yard. I wasn't trying to please any one and honestly would have preferred to just go to the court house, just him and I :D Some of my family (I am Mexican) thought it was so strange for me to be married, but not because I was just young but just the fact that I was ACTUALLY married. You see, many Mexican girls tend to just run away and shack up with their boyfriend from 14-18 years old, and for them to see a 20 year old actually married, with her named changed and a wedding ring on was totally strange. (Sad but true... you wouldn't imagine how many times I've said "I'm married." and they are like "Oh, like just living together?" and I'd have to respond with, "Um, no. We are married. Legally.")

    ANYWAYS, happy for you two! Each person is different, some can marry young and make it work and others just have to wait. Either way, I don't think there's a right or wrong way to go :)

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

    ReplyDelete
  14. "The biggest change for us has been a underlying sense of family and commitment." - love this. My husband and I left the same thing after we got married. We lived together for 2 years before getting married and still felt a small change.
    Beautiful story.

    Anca @ ancaslifestyle | UK

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for this post. I got married young (my hubby is 8 years older) and yes, I think I got asked every one of these questions. Seven years in and all we get now is "when are you going to have kids" although the families have stopped asking finally. You two are a beautiful couple and I wish you many, many happy years together.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I absolutely love this post! I am engaged to be married at 20 and the amount of people who will say 'but you've barely lived?' Regardless of a ring, my fiance is already my family and marriage is so not the end but a beautiful beginning. People will say but what about travelling? im fairly sure i can travel as a mrs rather than a miss!! my aim is to look back and not regret all these supposed oppertunities iv apparently missed by settling down young, but look back and think of everything i'v gained by doing it! I wish you all the happiness in your marriage <3

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love this post. At 21, I'm not married but I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years. People are forever implying (or even just out right stating!) that I'm missing out on life by settling down so soon. But like you, I feel the complete opposite- my life is so much better for having him in it! You look like a lovely couple and I wish you all the best for the future :)

    Alice x
    slowlymendingme.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  18. I got married at 21, many asked why so young, but I didn't see it that way really. I think if you found the one, then you've found the one and that's all there is on it. I also moved to the UK when I was 19/20, so that was fun too, haha. You both look wonderful :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love this post! I was married at 25 (not that young!) here in the U.S. and there were plenty of people who thought I was much too young to make such a commitment and didn't hesitate in telling me so. Super annoying but I know I have made the right decision and that's all that matters.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love this post! So interesting to read your perspective - I don't know if she's done a post about this topic yet, but this would be a great interview subject for the Yes and Yes blog!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Loved this post :) I'm 21 and have been with my boyfriend (who is 27) for 4 years now. There have been people asking when we'll be getting married and others people constantly saying not to rush things so I know there is a lot of conflict around this issue but I truly believe you have to do what's right for you. It's great that you both felt ready at that age and hope you have a long and happy future together! As long as it is the right decision for you, that's all that matters! x

    ReplyDelete
  22. It was such an interesting read. You are so mature for your age, I'm 20 and I feel like a child most of the time, I can't even imagine myself being married yet. But I really admire your relationship and your wedding was absolutely amazing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm either weird or I've got a soul of a woman who was alive in the 40-60's because I actually want to get married young. I would like to be married by the time I turn 26 and have my first child before I turn 30. I'm still fairly younger than my plans - it's my dream to get married that young and I've never understood why, but this is an interesting post! You look amazing in your wedding pictures by the way! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a well-written post!

    We got married young too (my husband was 23). I grew up thinking I wanted to do all sorts of things and then settle down - perhaps in my late thirties. But it didn't happen that way! I feel your 4th Q&A totally describes our marriage!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love this post. I was a bit older than you when I got married at 24, but still had friends who kept asking if I thought I was maybe too young to be settling down!. I think when it comes to marriage if the only thing holding you back are people's presumptions on what the 'normal' age is to get married, then you should definitely go for it. Gorgeous wedding photos as well x

    ReplyDelete
  26. Being married doesn't hold you back from anything, having kids does. If you;re not having kids anytime soon, there is nothing to stop you doing what you want. Interesting point that you feel grateful that your husband changed his name because not one single man I think would feel the same way in the reverse situation because society and men are so used to women having to change their names that he would not will be grateful that she did. Because of society, that would be considered quite a sacrifice for him, considering that most men will feel that it's their surname that makes the family unit complete. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  27. This was seriously such a nice post and I think that you and Grant make such a cute couple :) I hope you both have a long and happy future ahead of you :D

    http://sumptuouselixir.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  28. I totally agree with everything you've said; we've basically had the exact same experiences except ten years apart! I too got married at 21, we went to university as a married couple and still have no intention of starting a family. I knew I'd found the right person at the age of 18 and that we would still be together now whether we had married or not, so why NOT get married? We enjoyed a massive 10th anniversary party last summer and are planning our next big milestone party already! :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love this post! I just got married in May, 3.5 weeks after turning 22. We got engaged a few weeks before I turned 20. I can relate to these questions so much, the number of times we've been asked when we're having children or why I decided to get married so young and didn't I want to experience life first. Age is just a number, why does it matter how old you are when you find the one you want to spend the rest of your life with?!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Such a sweet and candid post. Thank you. I can tell you are very mature for your age and I think all the reasons you got married are good ones. People no matter what age need to have a good head on their shoulders before making such a huge commitment and life change. Although I am not a fan of people getting married before 25 due to my seeing people needing to mature and do things on their own etc beforehand, it is refreshing to see a young married couple such as yourselves focused on the things that are important in life! Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I really loved reading this. My partner and I have lived together for the last year and have been together for nearly three. We want to get married but we're not ready yet although we have discussed how we would want the day and also that he would take my name. It was nice to read that you both did the same. xx

    Alice Anne | Annie Writes Beauty

    ReplyDelete
  32. I enjoyed reading this and it's nice to hear your honest opinion about these questions. I can imagine some of the questions can rub couples up the wrong way, I find it so annoying when others judge over something like this. I thought it was bad enough getting the "so what's your plans now after finishing uni?" questions nevermind marriage. It's so easy for them to do that, but they obviously don't realise how well thought out you had everything as I have picked up on through reading this post. You really thought out every detail and had everything really well planned out. I'd love your organisation skills haha! Personally I think as long as the couple are happy and ready etc then that's their choice, people either should support the decisions they make or keep their judgmental opinions to themselves. And be around those that do have a positive impact and support you. You sound like a very strong and mature person and I'm pleased your engagement and wedding wasn't ruined by other people's opinions. This was very inspiring to read Megan :) Thank you for sharing!

    www.violetdaffodils.com
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  33. I got engaged when I was 22 and as usual, people are asking why can't I wait till I'm older and such or I will lose my freedom if I marry young. My fiance is 7 years older than me so I personally feel the timing is just right. I was quite frustrated with all these social expectations as well and I believed that it's not wise to let others dictate my life. The important thing is that you are comfortable & happy with your decision. Great and meaningful post by the way ^^

    http://zhixingeralyn.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. I really loved reading this post! It has made me feel actually better about my own engagement. My partner proposed last month while we were away on holiday. And I always have this little voice in the back of my head saying "people think you're too young" and all that crap! Although all relationships are different, it's kind of nice to know that somebody who was in the same length of a relationship and got engaged at the same age/time in a relationship has been able to go through it smoothly! Thank you, glad that Becky Bedbug linked this post!
    Lauren // OhHay Blogs!
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  35. A great post Megan - we got married at 24/26 and even that age was considered young by many of our friends and family, so I can only imagine how it must have felt for you and Grant.

    My biggest issue with being married is the pregnancy/children question - I think it hangs over the heads of all married couples regardless of their age, and I dislike the expectation that children will naturally follow a wedding/marriage.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Ahh this was lovely to read and shows age is just a number! x

    ReplyDelete
  37. I got married at 21 because it felt like the natural progression in our relationship at the time, despite some protestations from family and friends it was what we wanted for ourselves. I do actually have some regrets about getting married young now but that has nothing to do with our relationship because we are still very much in love and planning to stay together forever, it was more to do with me doing a lot of maturing as I've aged and being a completely different woman to the one I was at 21. But mine and my partners relationship is something only we can define, and its the same for other couples too.

    The are you having children questions just leave me incredulous now, especially after the shock people express after learning I got married so young... why would they then expect me to have children? I think that is way more responsibility than getting married because if things don't work out between the couple they can always split and get a divorce. When you bring another life into the world you are then responsible for them together for the rest of your own lives. We're never going to have children and thats another sore point for me in other peoples expectations of our relationship, but I'm totally happy with the family me and my partner have together already... we don't need extra people in that to be honest.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I got married at 21, I'm now 30. I don't regret it one bit.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Am Cannon shelly from Usa, i am sharing about my experience and testimony online in search of a spell caster that will restore my marriage and make me live a happy life. I was introduced to a spell caster by my neighbor and i contact him. to my greatest surprise i never though that there was going to be a real spell caster for me but i was amazed when i met a real one in the person of His Majesty,HIGH PRIEST OZIGIDIDON who helped in in bring back my man and making me have a happy marriage and home and also help in restoring back my job and life and sincerely it is to numerous for me to mention, i just can't thank him more that enough for all he has done but i want to sincerely thank him for restoring my hope that there are still real spell casters out there. Indeed he is so real and true to his job. i am glad i met him and i will hold him in high esteem till i leave this earth. Your HIGHNESS i will never let you go you are my foundation.High priest can be gotten on highpriestozigididon@gmail.com. i know when you contact him and he worked for you, you will definitely come back to thank me. high priest is so great and powerful.. i have lost the adjective to classify him.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I really want to thank Dr Ero for saving my marriage. My husband really treat me bad and left the home for almost 1 month i was sick because of this, then i contacted eromosalelovespell@outlook.com for help, he told me that my husband is under a great spell of another woman. then he cast a spell of return back of love on him. And he came back home and ask for forgiveness and today we are happy again, i want you all who are having relationship, ex and even husband problem to contact eromosalelovespell@outlook.com or call him with +2348161850195

    ReplyDelete
  41. I really want to thank Dr Ero for saving my marriage. My husband really treat me bad and left the home for almost 1 month i was sick because of this, then i contacted eromosalelovespell@outlook.com for help, he told me that my husband is under a great spell of another woman. then he cast a spell of return back of love on him. And he came back home and ask for forgiveness and today we are happy again, i want you all who are having relationship, ex and even husband problem to contact eromosalelovespell@outlook.com or call him with +2348161850195

    ReplyDelete