When it comes to love and marriage, age is truly just a number. Love will always be a gamble. You can’t say that a 20-year-old couldn’t possibly know what real love is. You can’t guarantee that just because a couple has been together for 10 years already that they’ll be together for ever. Life is unpredictable, and there are no guarantees in the game of love. I’ve known couples that had been together for years before they got married, but they still ended up splitting up. I also know couples who got married young or only knew each other for a short time before marriage, but they are still together today. My father proposed to my mother on their first date, and they are still together today! I’m not saying that it’s for everyone, but it does work.
The success of a marriage depends on the couple and their willingness to work things out, not how many years they’ve been alive or how long they’ve been together. When it’s right, it’s right. But for some reason, a lot of people still feel the need to judge those who choose different paths than they did. They seem to think a couple who marries young is destined to fail. As a woman who was married young, it can be quite disheartening to constantly have to defend my choice to marry when I did. So, for all the women and happy couples out there who married young like I did, here’s just a few things you’ve probably heard from nosy people that I’m sure you’re just as tired of hearing as I am.
1. “Are you pregnant?”
Apparently, people think this is the most likely reason that anyone would want to be married by the time they are 20—or even in their mid-20s. No, I’m not pregnant (but so what if I was?). Is it so far-fetched to you that we could just be getting married because we love each other? There’s no need to try and find reasons we’re getting married; we’re just marrying for the same reasons as everyone else.
2. “You’re going to miss out on the best years of your life!”
No, I’m not; I’m going to have my amazing husband to share them with! My husband and I get to experience everything together and grow and change together. Being married doesn’t change anything except for the fact I come home to my man every night. We still have our own friends, we live our own lives, and we still know how to be fun—getting married doesn’t change that!
3. “Is it for a visa?”
As an interracial couple, we heard this one a lot, and I mean a lot. Because I’m American, everyone is constantly asking me when I’m going to petition my husband and bring him to the USA. The joke’s on them, though, because we’ve decided to stay in the Philippines! But you know what, so what if we had decided to go through the visa process? We just want to be together like any other married couple. Is there something wrong with that?
4. “You can never wait too long!”
But if there’s no reason to wait, what’s the point? Sure, we could have set the wedding date for six years in the future, but there was no reason to do so. We wanted to be married to each other, and live together as husband and wife. Why should we wait just for the sake of waiting?
5. “You’re going to meet so many more people—what if he’s not the one?”
I wouldn’t be marrying him if he wasn’t the one. Additionally, though, I believe that the most important thing in making a marriage work is deciding that you want it to and making every effort to live up to your commitment. Marriage is a promise to always work things out together, no matter what life throws at you. This includes other people.[crp]
6. “You should be more financially stable first.”
A person can always be more stable. But actually, being married makes stability easier to find. We now are sharing our expenses with two incomes, while before we were struggling to make ends meet separately. We have each other to lean on for support when we need it, and if anything, we are more stable together than we were apart.
7. “Has it always been your dream to be a young mom?”
Personally, if I answer this honestly, yes, it is my dream to be a young mom. However, we didn’t get married just to have kids. We’re not under the delusion that marriage is all it takes to build a family. Having kids is actually where stability comes into play, not getting married. We’re waiting until we’re financially able to handle having kids, which is how it should always be, right?
8. “You know you can’t get divorced here, right?”
Yes, we know, you’re the umpteenth person to tell us that. We’re fully aware that there is no divorce in the Philippines. This doesn’t scare us, though, because we don’t plan to get divorced! We plan to make things work no matter what, and divorce is just the easy way out. We don’t want the easy way out, we made a commitment and we plan to follow through.
9. “You’re going to regret not spending your 20s partying instead!”
What, just because I’m married that means I can’t party anymore? Okay, well, honestly, I’ve never really been the partying type. But my husband and I like to go out to the bar occasionally for a few drinks together. Nothing changed just because we got married. If anything, we go to parties more often because now we’ve got both my friends and his friends inviting us out as a couple.
10. “Won’t being married hold you back from your dreams?”
Why does everyone think marriage is supposed to hold you back? If marriage holds you back, you’ve married the wrong guy. Your spouse should be encouraging you, supporting you, and helping you to achieve your dreams, not hindering you. Is your dream to travel? Travel together, it’s so much more fun with a partner anyway! Is your dream to work your way up the corporate ladder? Now you have someone to come home to and vent to about the stresses of work.
The fact is, lots of couples who marry young work out. Lots of them don’t. But the exact same is true of couples who wait to marry. So what’s the lesson we should be taking away from this? Don’t judge! Let people do what makes them happy; you aren’t them, and therefore you are in no place to judge. There is no perfect age to marry—it’s up to each individual and each couple to decide what’s right for them. So just let it be their own decision!
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Abby is from the USA and moved to the Philippines to be with her husband, David Christopher Hizon, who also happens to be her photographer for most of her writing endeavors. A gamer, a bookworm, an animal lover and a self-proclaimed foodie, she is passionate about everything that she does and hopes that will come across in her writing. Follow her at http://facebook.com/WritersInTandem & http://www.thewritersintandem.wordpress.com