Married Young: Any Limitations?
Getting married put us through so many negative and positive emotions. The reactions we received hit every spot of the emotion spectrum. We endured it all because we knew God was directing us to do it in that moment and not for human approval, but for his glory. So at that time, my husband was 27 and I was 23. For as long as I could remember, I had always wished and prayed that I would be married or at least engaged by 25. Having that in the back of my mind, I didn’t rush to get married, because if I were to fulfill my own timeline, I would’ve had at least a year or two extra before I would’ve wanted it all to happen.
For some reason, which I can understand- but couldn’t really understand since I had proved to be a mature person for so many years, some people felt that I was interested in entering marriage for the glitz and the glamour of the wedding day. As I mentioned before, I was much more mature than that and had enough common sense to know that I wouldn’t waste my life and marry some random guy just because I wanted to spend thousands of dollars on one day that wouldn’t just end at that, but would continue into one of the biggest transitions of my life. Others thought that I was getting married so I could just have sex. Little did they know, if I truly wanted to have sex, I would’ve just had it instead of signing my life away to someone who I didn’t actually want to marry.
Anyway, once it was made known that we were getting married, we were given so many talks about getting a Master’s degree. We both had our Bachelor’s degrees and determined that the path we both wanted to take did not require Master’s degrees. We are both in business and have businesses of our own, which we began before we entered into a relationship. People made it look to us that if we didn’t get a higher degree of education, we wouldn’t be able to make enough money and then we would eventually be living a life of struggle. We couldn’t disagree more. If God was directing us down this path, his plan for our lives was much greater than what our friends and family could comprehend and so it was hard for us to succumb to the fear of not being able to take care of ourselves. We trusted God too much to let others put those thoughts into our minds.
So, let’s get more focused on the question at hand:
“What were some limitations to getting married young?”
Rent History: So, if you are getting married young, there’s a chance that you haven’t had your own apartment. I think in my household, there was just a mutual understanding that I wasn’t moving out of the house until I was married, and so I didn’t have real renter’s experience. The issue with this is that people don’t want to give you an apartment unless you’ve had a landlord that can vouch for you. In our case, we just used my parents, but then the issue was that they wanted our parents to co-sign on the apartment although we had amazing credit. We said, “uhm…no.” They told us that in the past, they had couples (boyfriend and girlfriend) get apartments together, and they when they broke up, it became a problem for them. We explained to them that we would be moving in after we got married and so that was not something that they needed to worry about. They refused to see our side. There was no way that we were going to be a married couple living on our own with our parents names attached to our living arrangement. So, make sure you start looking for a place to live early so that you can weed out places like that which will require your parents to also play a part in your application process.
Everyone still views you as a child: When will someone ever see me as a grown-up? I know the American culture says that you become an adult at the age of 18. In the typical African home, you become an adult when your parents are sick of you being at home, which may be somewhere around your late 20s and early 30s. When you get married young, it doesn’t really click to people that you are married and no longer an itty bitty baby. Folks still tend to cater to you and check if you’re okay. For example, my mom will sit there and cook a whole 4 course meal and then tell me to come and get some so that my husband and I have something to eat. Who said we didn’t have food??????!! We are perfectly fine. Lol. Thanks for the kind gesture, but no thank you.
Counseling: I mentioned our counseling story in another post: Marriage Counseling: Is it only for Engaged Couples? Counseling is very essential for individuals that are looking to get married. Not having proper counseling is a limitation. You will never know the full curriculum of marriage because every marriage is different, however, getting proper counseling will give you guys an idea of what you may be facing once you enter it.
Money: Money, money, money. We will never have enough money. We will always want more than we have. When you get married young, you haven’t really had much time to save enough money, unless you were gifted with foresight and started saving very young. Being young, most of your money is/was just spent on books for class, tuition, car, etc, and so there wasn’t much saving involved. I can totally agree. I got married two years after I graduated from college. I did not start saving for my wedding until August/September of 2014. By the time my husband and I got married, we had saved a chunk of money-money I had never imagined seeing in my younger years, but it still didn’t feel like it was enough. We were gifted with money and items after the wedding, but you still always want some more just to feel safe. You just need to learn that security doesn’t come from money, but it comes from God. As quickly as you are able to gain money, you can also lose it 2x faster. Find your security in God. We didn’t know if we would be able to afford our wedding, but in the end, God made all of our ends meet.
Your friends don’t understand: When you get married, you need to become selfless. You are not only caring for yourself, but you’re caring for an extension of you. This concept is hard to grasp by folks that are not mature. Although you are young and have matured enough to want to pursue a marriage, your friends may not understand the essence of being married and so it’s almost like talking to pre-teens. They don’t understand how you could reach such a stage and be calm about it, but then you’re looking at them like, “well how have you not reached this stage?” If you do experience this, do not allow them to influence your thoughts or opinions and know that if you guys remain friends, it will change. You guys most likely won’t talk much because you won’t be able to relate to each other as you did prior to marriage.
Caring about what people think: THE HYPE! Yes, your wedding is one of the greatest days of your life, but let it be great. Don’t spend your time living in a fairy-tale if you know that you can’t afford it. Do something elegant that will please you and your fiance, because in the end, the wedding is for the two of you. Don’t get caught up in the hype of being featured on social media or YouTube for having the greatest wedding on the planet. It would be beautiful, but in the end, the viewers are not adding or subtracting from your marriage. The marriage is what matters. You could have had the most glamorous wedding, but if your marriage doesn’t last, then what?
After you’re married, people think you need help: People don’t always realize that once you get married, there are a lot of adjustments that need to be made to accommodate your new lifestyle together. They tend to ask plenty of questions about your life and you just need some space. They assume that your phase of figuring life out (routines, schedules, etc) is a cry for help when essentially, you’re just trying to figure out how to blend your routines and schedules, as well as the training that was received from your parents.
All-in-all, it’s really no one’s business. Follow God’s direction and if you don’t find anyone to support you, then that’s fine. God wasn’t seeking the approval of man; He simply came down to fulfill his purpose. Do the same! Fulfill your purpose, and watch everything fall into place!
God loves you.