My Life Is Over: I Got Married Before I Turned 23... Wait, What? | Anchors Aweigh

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My Life Is Over: I Got Married Before I Turned 23... Wait, What?

Has anyone seen the article about 23 things to do instead of getting engaged before you're 23? It's circulated Facebook for the past week. I hadn't read it, but my husband skimmed the article and immediately said " You should write a blog post about this". I didn't pay much attention to the idea but asked him to send me the article so I could read it. Sitting here having read the thing, I am beyond annoyed. You can read the article here, but in a nutshell it is a list of reasons why young marriages don't work and should never happen in the first place.

The author is completely entitled to her opinion, and I respect the fact that she wants more time to figure out who she is and what she wants in life before getting married. That's fine. That's her. This is me: I got engaged when I was 21 and married when I was 22. My husband and I are 24 and (gasp) still happily married. That is the story God wrote for us. We met early, fell in love early, and got married early. If Parker and I knew we were meant for each other and wholeheartedly felt ready for the commitment of marriage, what is the point of waiting? So I can "make out with a stranger" or "date two guys at one time and wait for it to blow up in my face"? Those are 2 of the author's reasons for waiting to get engaged. That lifestyle isn't for me. I may be naive. I may have gotten married before traveling the world or dating a sea of men. I may not have a ton of life experience under my belt. But you know what? I am so happy. Being married to Parker brings me so much joy. Instead of traveling the world alone and discovering what makes me happy on my own, I get to do it with my best friend.

When I see lists of things to do before you get married, I usually laugh. 9 times out of 10, the things on the list are things Parker and I do together in marriage. Travel? Check! Bake an entire roll of cookie dough and eat it in one sitting? Yeah, that's happened since the "I do's". Accomplish a fitness goal? I've been training for a half marathon for the past couple of months and can't wait to run it. Adopt a pet? If you've read this blog for any length of time or know us personally, you know we adopted the Jen pup and couldn't be more in love with her. I would do these things if I were single too. The point is, being married doesn't mean I trade in an exciting life for an apron and a vacuum cleaner.

Nobody is forcing young women to get married. This isn't the age of arranged marriages. People that get married, for the most part, truly want to be married. Why judge them for doing what makes them happy? I have friends who want to wait to get married until they are 28 or 30. Good for them! That is what will make them happy, so they should do it. Let's not condemn and judge others for living life in a different way than we do. We get one life, one shot. For me, I wanted a husband and a family. I wanted to be married young and to experience life and growing older with my husband. I prayed for this, and God blessed me with a best friend to do just that with. My story isn't everyone's story. Maybe it isn't most people's story, but it's still a beautiful story. Single or married, dating or engaged, I think we all need to show respect to each other. Less judgement, more love. Comparison is the thief of joy, so why compare? I got married young, but I don't think my life is dull or unadventurous. In fact, I think it's quite the opposite.

 



38 comments :

Melissa said...

Loving your pictures!

Pleas(e) and Carrots said...

I love your response to the article, so eloquent!

Ashlee Brown said...

I can't agree with you more! My husband and I met when I was 15 and he was 16 back in highschool and fell in love. 7 years later we are married and happy with our first child on the way. And I know God wrote our story this way.

www.lovewithwings.blogspot.com

Kourtney Martin said...

Amen sister! I found this article annoying too when I read it this past week. We met when we were 15, married at 21, and 3 1/2 years later we are loving life together.

Karla said...

ummmm AMEN! I find all articles along those lines so .... for lack of a better word.... dumb! So glad you wrote this! I think I have a post somewhere in my drafts that looks very similar to this!! hahaha I love this! =)

Brianna said...

Amen! It's so, so true! People judge for whatever life moment you're in. If you're married, you either waited too long or not long enough. If you have a baby, you should've waited longer, or you waited too long. Or why don't you have a baby yet? What are you waiting for? Ugh! These questions fray on my nerves, and I'll never understand why these people can't just allow others to be HAPPY with where they are in life! :)

Rachel said...

:) Well of course I love this! I saw that article a week ago, and I feel sad for folks who have such a dim view of marriage. I see marriage as a blessing and an opportunity to adventure even more than I would have been able to on my own! And yeah...I was married at 19...

Kaysie said...

I saw this when Mackenzie posted it (Bell Bliss) and had to ponder whether or not I would comment. We got married when I was 22, he 23, but met when we were 12 and 13. In short, I agree that it is comical, and even think it may be a sort of padding for all the girls who think their lives are over because they "STILL" haven't met someone (my best friend has wanted to marry her past 4 boyfriends for the sake of being married), but we also do have the things on all of those lists together. We should compile all our good points and publish a counter-article... anybody got Buzzfeed connections?

Sarah {Limited Space Organizing} said...

LOVE this girlfriend!! My husband and got got married when we were 22 also. We've been together since we were 16. It's now been almost 10 years since we've been together. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I will say we mutually broke up a year before we were engaged just to make sure for ourselves and each other that we were "the one". I didn't want him to regret not getting to find out. It only lasted 9 mos before we just KNEW. Everyone has a different path in life. Our life together just started earlier than most, and that just means I'm getting to spend a longer amount of time with the love of my life than that author! :)

Ashley said...

Love this! I have to remind myself that people who want to wait or tell me that I should wait; it's just their opinion.

Bailey @ Becoming Bailey said...

I read that article and I was not a fan of it. I'm not going to make out with a stranger or date two guys at one time even though I don't plan on getting married until I'm 26 or 27.
I don't think there's anything wrong with getting married young-- my sister is getting married at 21. People are different and there's no rule on when a person should get married.

Samantha said...

I completely agree that people need to do what's right for them. My boyfriend and I started dating when I was 19 and could have easily been married by 23 years old. But here I am at 25 and still not married, we're going on 6 years together, and we're happy with where we're at. People hassle us all the time about getting married and all I can say to them is "if we wanted to be married, we'd be married". It amazes me how people have such a hard time accepting the way others live their lives, it's not their place to criticize.

Amy said...

loving your thoughts regarding the article (that I still need to read!).
I think that what you said was spot on, some get married early, some later, and it just happens that way. here I am, 25, wanting to be married, and I'm not and that is OK. :) gives me more time as a single woman, and that is how God has designed it, just as God designed you and Parker (as you said) to meet early and marry early - nothing wrong in either scenario. <3

Livia Carpenter said...

I read that article and was completely annoyed as well. Her values were clearly not my values but on top of that, who is she to say that getting married young is bad? My husband and I have been married over a year and we are still so happy. It is such a blessing that I get to do "life" with him by my side. I have said this several times on my blog as well... how awesome is it that I met my husband early and therefor, get to know him, love him, spend time with him, travel with him, etc. a lot longer than people who, say, get married at 30? Young marriages can be such an amazing blessing and I wish more people would see that and appreciate it.

Debby said...

I was married just days after my 21st birthday - To each his own, I say. Age is just a number.

Tracey @ Talkative*TLC said...

I LOVE this! I got engaged at 22, married at 23 and feel the exact same way. Yes, I may have been young (and too young in some eyes) but this is how the stars aligned and 4+ years later I'm happier now than ever that we've had the chance to just have fun together. Great post, thanks for sharing.

Lacey's Travels said...

I'm constantly having to defend my marriage at 19 (Andrew was 20). The way I look at it, life is full of compromises. I chose to marry young and had to give up a wild college experience...but like you said...I would have never been that person anyway. The worst was everyone thinking I must have been pregnant and that was the only reason for getting married so soon.

Mary Anthony said...

Well written Chelsea! Rod and I started dating at 17 and 18 and have been married now 30 years. My younger brother also married his high school sweetheart and are married now 29 years. Rod's brother married his high school sweetheart and are married now 40 years. We all got married at the ripe age of 22 and 23 for Rod. People choose their lifestyle...I believe we chose what God's plan was for us...and look at the results!

Alex said...

Amen girlie! Every time that link pops up on Facebook I just skim over it... Not even worth reading! Your response is perfect :)

- Alex @ Radiating Sunshine
www.alexmhons.blogspot.com

Blogger Ash said...

That lifestyle wasn't for me either. I met my husband when I was 22, we got engaged on my 23rd birthday and were married before I turned 24. I'm 29 now and he's 30 and we will be celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary on March 1!

~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
http://acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

Blogger Ash said...

That lifestyle wasn't for me either. I met my husband when I was 22, we got engaged on my 23rd birthday and were married before I turned 24. I'm 29 now and he's 30 and we will be celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary on March 1!

~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
http://acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

Ashley said...

I love this post! I thought that article was so silly because our choice to get married shouldn't be based on age. It's all about the person and the plan God for us.I got married at 22 too and I am so glad! My husband and I have had so much time to grow TOGETHER!

I am so glad I stumbled across your blog. I'm a new follower!

Hilary said...

Amen sister! Jeff and I aren't "married" in the traditional sense, but being with him and having William is more fun than any of the silly petty things that girl had on her list. Plus it is way easier to eat a jar of nutella and make a cake and eat it too when you have someone to share it with :)

Susannah said...

Yes, yes, yes!!! I was so sad when I read that origional blog post. I feel exactly like you do, getting married at 22 was the best decision I've ever made. And you're so right, all the things I would have wanted to do single I'm totally still doing while being married!!!

Jen said...

Beautiful response to that article! :)

Alice said...

To each their own I always say. I just get so tired of hearing "you were too young to get married". I was pretty young, being only 19....but here I am 15 years later with a marriage most people can only dream of. I'll take that over hanging out naked in front of a window anyday. :)

Elizabeth Lynn said...

Beautifully written, Chelsea. Definitely everyone has the right to their own opinion but I love that the husband and I married young. I love what you said at the end--everyone has their own story and each one is beautiful in their own way!

Haylee said...

Such a thoughtful response to the article! I, too, mentioned it on my blog today. I've shared this post with both my husband and my best friend. Thank you for sharing this, Chelsea! I found it to be an encouragement. :)

Emily Woodard said...

I love this response! "Less judgement, more love". I completely agree that many of the things mentioned on her list are not suitable towards my lifestyle. I think everyone has a different story and a different 'timeline' in life. Love and marriage are beautiful things and I think we all need to celebrate them more, rather than pass judgments.

Kat said...

Loved this post! As long as you date your significant other for a few years to figure each other out, go right ahead and get married young. That said, I can't help but cringe when I see people getting engaged after knowing each other for not even a year. You need to see your significant other at his/her best and worst before you should decide if they're the one for you.

I like your values and aspirations with Parker more than the other girl's values and aspirations. I too would rather complete the 23 items on that list with my significant other. To date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face sounds awful and selfish. This girl sounds like she's bitter and jealous that all her friends are getting engaged and married before her. Maybe if she stopped making out with strangers and took a moment to find a nice guy, she wouldn't have written that article :P

Mariah Rist said...

ahhh love this so much! I got engaged and married at the same ages as you! You said it perfectly. Thank you! And good luck on the half marathon. I just ran my first one in the fall :)

xo & now following
mariahlauren.blogspot.com

Brittney @ True Vintage Love said...

THANK YOU. I was 21 (barely, my birthday was on the 17th & we got married on the 20th) & my husband was 22. He's now 23 going on 24 & I'm 22. We do everything together! Always have! I don't know what happened to traumatize these women into thinking marriage ruins your life... but it has made mine so much better! My husband is my best friend!

Stephanie said...

I always find it interesting when people think that once you become married you become boring people who can't do anything fun. And who's to say I can't do these things on my own anyway? To each their own. Make the most of your own life I say!

Kenzie S said...

I can definitely say I'm not a fan of her list, ha ha! Totally not into dating two people at once waiting for it to blow up in my face, and I don't like disappointing my parents. To each their own :)

Teal Vogue said...

Great post!

Three Sisters and Us said...

Great post! I married my husband at age 19 and he was 22 years of age. We are still happily married almost 7 years later. :)

PS. Thank you for linking up at the TGIF Blog Hop
http://threesistersandus.blogspot.com/
Kaitlyn

Mandy said...

Yes! My husband and I got married when I was 19 and he was 20. Here we are a year and a half later, still very happily married! I know a lot of people who were older when they got married and they said had they met the right person earlier they would have gotten married young too. People need to stop focusing on other people and start focusing on themselves!

Mandy
throughthehansonlens.com

Paige Gunter said...

I loved this post. My husband and I were married this past Oct. I was engaged at 23. Up until meeting my husband, it seemed opinions like that of the article's author were all I heard. I feel the same as you do about her type of advice. Glad to know I'm not the only one. :)

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