Friday, May 3, 2013

Marrying Young

Us walking to our hotel after the reception


I read an article a few days ago that I have to share. It's called Marry Young, and in it, Julia Shaw writes boldly and convincingly and wisely about marriage as a journey, an adventure, and most importantly, a beginning.

When I was engaged, I read and heard so many stories of brides who felt a post-wedding let-down, who felt sadness that the big day they had spent months planning was now over, wishing they could do it all again the next weekend. I was bracing myself for at least a little bit of that feeling as our wedding came to a close and guests began to leave and the party began to wind down.

But I didn't feel it. Not one bit. One of my girlfriends asked me before my husband and I left the reception if I felt sad it was all over. And I said truthfully, "Not at all. I feel thrilled and happy that this day has been fulfilled. That it's completed." And that feeling continued into the next day, and days, and weeks, and months. Not sad that my wedding was over, but satisfied that it was completed.

Because all along, I viewed my wedding as a beginning, not an end. Not the culmination of our engagement and our months of preparation, but the dawning of a lifelong commitment, a friendship, our marriage.

Julia's article speaks to this very point. Our generation tends to view marriage as an end, something to do after all of your post-college schooling has been finished, after an ideal point in your career has been reached, when your finances are in order, the debt payed off, when the young single years have truly been experienced to the fullest. When you are really and truly a grown up, your "travel the world" impulses out of your system and your desire to "settle down" finally at the forefront.

Julia's argument, and mine, is that having life 100-percent figured out doesn't have to be a prerequisite for marriage. In fact, it shouldn't be (if it were, nobody would get married!). Figuring life out, alongside your best friend and partner, is the most wonderful part of marriage. Here's the last part of Julia's article--though I do encourage you to read the whole thing:


Marriage doesn’t require a big bank account, a dazzling resumé, or a televised wedding—it requires maturity, commitment, and a desire to grow up together. My husband and I married young. We don't have a fairytale marriage or a storybook ending because our story continues. Going forward, we anticipate new challenges and joys: children, new jobs, new hobbies, new cities, family weddings, and family funerals. There will be things we can’t predict. But one thing is for certain: We are committed to each other and we will grow through them. We don't have the details of the later chapters, but we know who the two main characters are.



17 comments:

  1. Bravo. We married when we were 25. Not too young but one of the first weddings of our friends. We still don't have finances in order, jobs figured out or the travel bug out of our system. But that last quote sums it up. I sent it to Alex. I love it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like your point that if people wait until they have all of their ducks lined up in a row before getting married, they probably won't ever get married. For me, the best part of marriage is having a partner to go through all of the ups and downs with. We were partners even before marriage, but now it feels even more intimate and unbreakable. We don't have everything figured out, but we'll make those decisions together and become stronger because of it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes yes yes. Good for you two. I'm so glad this resonated. I hope Alex likes it. 25 is a great age. I feel so lucky that my husband and I have been married for at least a chunk of our 20s (we married when I was 23 and he had just turned 28). It's such a time of growth and settling into your skin, and I wouldn't want to go through that alone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The ups and downs....absolutely. We've had a lot of both in the last year and a half and I'm amazed at how much more in love I am now than I was on my wedding day (and I was pretty darn in love then!). You grow as a couple and these experiences make your marriage unbreakable, as you say. Thanks for this comment :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for this Kate...I needed it right now =) I'm one of the over-analyzing ones that struggles to just let go and take that leap of faith! So thank you for the encouragement =)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love that piece you shared from her article. It mentions "maturity" though... and unfortunately I think too many young people get married before they are mature enough to handle that big of a commitment. Everyone is different, and some people never are mature enough to handle marriage... no matter their age.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You're very welcome! I'm glad this came at a good time :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. If you look at the average cost for a wedding and how that has changed over the years... I think you see a startling trend in how priorities are changing. Not good.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes, that too....scary. Not a good trend at all. And maybe one of the reasons brides are sometimes disappointed after their weddings? The focus is often too much on the wedding, not enough on the marriage.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would have to agree on that!

    ReplyDelete
  11. maggiekdonnellyMay 3, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    This is beautiful! What a wonderful reminder of what is to come with marriage. Like you said, it's not an end, but a beginning together. I'll be 27 (YIKES, can't believe I'm that old already!!!) and Charles will be 33. Parts of me feel like that is sooo old compared to so many friends I know who married much younger, but at the same time, I feel it is a good age. Thanks again for this beautiful and inspirational post, loved it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think it's less about marrying at a certain, specific age and more about adopting the right attitude about marriage early on. Obviously marriage happens at different times for different people! I think that Julia is mainly fighting the current norm among our generation, which is to intentionally put off marriage in favor of other things, and perhaps we need to examine our priorities and our ideas about young marriage. I think 27 and 33 are perfect ages :) Excited for you to join the marriage "club!"

    ReplyDelete
  13. Kate, this is wonderful! In the grand scheme of things, Jon and I aren't marrying young - though he is 18 months younger than I am! - but we're among the first of our friends to get married and it does feel like we're embarking on a brand new adventure together. I do think there are plenty of reasons to wait to get married, but waiting until you have everything in place means you'll wait forever! there's something to be said for recognizing that growing WITH your partner is a crucial part of growing up :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. So glad you enjoyed it :) I definitely think the idea behind this article, and my own interpretation of it, is less about a specific age and more about an attitude--making sure your priorities are in the right place, and your perspective on marriage a healthy one. Obviously you have no issues there :) And I'm excited for you and Jon to BEGIN your beautiful adventure together!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love this post! I can't wait to click the link and read the article. Just that last paragraph alone mirrored my thoughts on our marriage.
    I was 25 when we got married (Tim, 31) and we are still growing, figuring out life, finances, raising a family, deciding what the next phase of our life will be).

    ReplyDelete
  16. We just celebrated our 6 year anniversary last Sunday and we both are fully committed to each other. We've been lucky to have good examples from both sides of our family and parents on building strong relationships and marriages.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Congratulations on 6 years! So wonderful that you have such a strong and growing marriage. And having examples of positive marriages is SO important, and sadly, increasingly rare.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments bring me joy! I do my best to respond to each one either on the blog or via email (if your email is linked to your comment). Thank you for visiting Something Ivory.

Designed by Jackie's Design Studio