Barefoot & Married

Not "Barefoot & Pregnant" yet – not as far as I know, at least!

Why in the World Did We Get Married So Stinkin’ Young? June 16, 2010

Filed under: Marriage — barefootnmarried @ 6:37 am

Well, that’s a pretty common question for us. I’m 21, and Mr. Barefoot is 20. (Whoah, younger men, I know, I’m a major cradle-robber. I’m actually 14 months older, so for two months each year, it’s like I’m two years older. Cougar right here!)

But in all seriousness, it’s no wonder we get asked that all the time. It’s highly unusual in today’s culture to get married when we did (19 and 20), even though 50 years ago it was pretty much expected. I’ll get into the reasons why I think that might be so in later posts, but an excellent resource is Boundless.org. Regardless, it’s surprisingly a source of contention for people who don’t even know us (and plenty who do!). I worked as a bank teller while we were engaged, and people tend to watch you count their money pretty closely, so a shiny engagement ring will catch their attention.

You wouldn’t believe some of the comments I got.

  • “Make sure you stay married at least ten years. Then you can collect alimony.”
  • “Enjoy life! Don’t throw it away at twenty years old!”
  • “You can’t know what you’re doing. I had no idea what I was doing at twenty. I could barely tie my shoe!”

Meanwhile, I’d like to share something Mr. Barefoot (then-boyfriend) and I wrote up when we were considering marriage, but still trying to figure out the whole thing. We wrote this up to get all of our feelings out on paper about our decision, and I’ll be sharing it in the next post. Check back then!

But first, tell me! What anti-young-marriage advice have you heard? Good stories?

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12 Responses to “Why in the World Did We Get Married So Stinkin’ Young?”

  1. […] wrote last time that we faced some backlash for getting married so young. While we were making the decision, we […]

  2. Keziah Says:

    Well, I’m totally not as young as you, but I still get asked this question! He actually gets asked more than I do… I’m 27 and hubby is 24… Neither of us finished college, so people mostly bring that up and tell us that by getting married, we’ll never go back to school. People also tell us that we won’t enjoy our “youth” because of the responsibility of marriage… I beg to differ! I love the fact that we can enjoy our youth as husband and wife! We’re creating a deeper bond because we’re growing and learning together.

    • barefootnmarried Says:

      Definitely! I love that fact that we’re getting to spend so much of our lives together. Why spend it apart so that we “enjoy our youth”? I’m enjoying it a lot more this way 🙂

  3. Jineele Says:

    why the alimony advice. you ought not to enter marriage thinking you can get out later. it’s till death do you part.

  4. Ashley Says:

    Well I’m not married (yet), but some comments I’ve gotten about why my boyfriend and I should wait is that we haven’t experienced enough of life yet, education is priority (though I don’t plan to drop out!), and I’m simply to young. (I’m almost 21, boyfriend is 23)

    • barefootnmarried Says:

      I find it funny that lots of times older people who got married young themselves advise against it … even when it worked out for them!

      Well, good luck! Let me know how it goes!

  5. Lisa Marie Mutchler Says:

    I can totally resonate with your experience of people giving you a hard time for marrying young. I’m from New York, and in the northeast the average marriage age is even higher than the national (close to 30!) so people here thought 22 and 23 was absolutely insane. lol

    The worst/most hurtful comment i got was actually from a family member (my aunt,) who told me that if i really loved my boyfriend, i should want him to finish college before we got married. …yeah, didnt make sense to me either. let alone the fact that she’s 45 and never been married. That’s family for you:-P

    • barefootnmarried Says:

      Oh man! Yeah, how dare you try to make his life better by being his wife and being there for him while he’s going through college! 😀

      • Lisa Marie Mutchler Says:

        Exactly!!!! I must really be a terrible person. lol.

        My husband has a lot of friends who married in college, and *all* of their gpa’s rose significantly after they said “I do.” I think it’s because there’s more motivation…and better rewards;-)

      • barefootnmarried Says:

        Teehee! Much better rewards 😀

  6. Saidah Ali Says:

    Hahaha. I love it. I got married at 19, and I lived in San Diego where there’s a rather large Muslim population. One of my Muslim co-workers assumed that I was too.

    I coach gymnastics and people usually don’t get on my case about being married young. But at least once a week I get, “Just make sure you don’t have any kids for a few years. Have a life first.” It always amazes me that parents say that to me in front of their kids… lol

  7. Leah Says:

    We got married when I was 20 and my husband was 22 (technically we are only a year apart, but his b’day is in January and mine is in December). We didn’t get given much grief. Our Christian family and friends were very supportive. Our non-Christian friends had seen us together so long (we dated 2.5 years before getting engaged, 3 years before marrying) that they had full confidence in our decision and if they thought it was odd that we were getting married so young (which I’m sure they did), they didn’t say anything, and those who did mention it, were saying it in the context of “if anyone could make a young marriage work it’d be you”.

    Since getting married I’ve moved into a non-Christian workplace. A few people have expressed surprise that at 22 I’ve already been married 2 years, but they’ve never acted disapproving.

    I wish I had ‘done more’ before I got married, but I don’t wish I’d put off marriage longer – I just wish I’d taken better advantage of the 3 years I had between highschool and getting married 🙂 (I did complete a bachelor’s degree in that time, but there are other things I wish I’d done too.)

    I don’t understand people who say you need to “find yourself” or “work out who you are” or “get out and enjoy the world” before getting married. What better way to work out who you are, or to see the world, than with your best friend and life partner??


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