I find this interesting...and because this is MY fabulous and amazingal blog I'm going to share my two-cents.
(Our very first, official, date in April of 2004. Oh yes.)
I got married at what I consider young in this day and age. I was 22 when I got married and Jeff was 24.
I had met Jeff when I was almost 19 and he was almost 21. The first year that we knew each other was very hot and cold. Neither of us wanted to commit to a serious relationship, but neither of us could deny the attraction and the fact that we were crazy about each other.
When I married Jeff, I loved him. Very much.
But something weird happened to me as soon as we were pronounced man and wife. Reality started to creep into my veins and I realized how quickly I was going to have to grow up. It wasn't all about me now, it was about us and we. It was about we and working full-time and being separated from family and friends who I was used to seeing whenever I wanted. Now, I couldn't just go shopping whenever I wanted, I had to remember now that everything I did affected both of us, not just me.
The first year of our marriage was probably the hardest and I readily admit that.
Jeff worked nights. I worked long days. We almost never saw each other. We lived in an apartment with TERRIBLE neighbors who we (and by that I mean me) had to call the cops on all the time (they knew me on a first name basis). I was alone a lot. I didn't know anyone in the town we lived in. I missed my family. I missed my friends.
And I took it out on Jeff.
I started leaving on weekends to visit friends and family in other towns and I tried to find other ways to fill my time and the void of not having him with me.
In a sense, I think I tried to close him out a little bit and he didn't really know what to do about it so he started doing the same thing.
When I found out we were pregnant with Caderyn, I was so shocked and in disbelief that, at first, I cried.
Not because I was unhappy at the thought of having a child.
Not because I was unhappy at the thought of sharing this life with Jeff.
But because I felt this child was just a way to fill that loneliness when Jeff and I worked opposite schedules and never saw each other.
I never wanted that for my child.
But, let me tell you, that thought process ended pretty quickly. And by that, I mean like after a day I never thought about it again.
Our next year was filled with ups and downs, just like every marriage and relationship, but I began to notice there were more ups.
Jeff got a promotion and continued to work super, super hard (as he always does), but he also made an extra effort to try and be more available to me. We took a great trip to Phoenix together for Christmas and prepared for Caderyn's arrival and our second year of marriage.
Our second year or marriage was not perfect either, but it was better than our first.
Our third year was...hard again. Jeff still worked the night shifts and super, super long hours. He was home watching Caderyn during the days and running on empty from lack of sleep. I felt like I was doing everything around the house and I was also running on empty.
I still left town a lot, with Caderyn in tow, to get away from the loneliness and to be around people I loved since Jeff was working such odd hours. In return, to fill the void of his family being gone, Jeff started going downtown after his shift ended at midnight to unwind and talk to people. He couldn't come home and talk to me because I was usually asleep or I wasn't home.
A huge change in our relationship came after a rather large argument (yes, we have those) that involved how Jeff was still going downtown too much after work when he should be home with us. I was trying to make an effort to me more available to him and less like a mother to him (which I tend to do sometimes. I'm very bossy).
Shortly after that, Jeff made some phone calls and came to me with a plan.
He wanted to join the National Guard.
It was actually a fairly elaborate plan, but joining the National Guard was the very first step.
We sat down and talked and talked about it. I saw how excited he was and knew this was something I needed to support.
From the day we had that talk, things have just been easier.
Each of Jeff's decisions since then have been for the better. I know they may be hard now, but will they really seem all that bad two or three years from now?
He does this for us. To ensure that we will have a better future and life together and I support his endeavors because he is passionate about succeeding and providing.
So, yes, we married young. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if we'd waited another year or two. How would things have gone differently?
Looking back, I feel like we both still had a lot of growing up to do. We are still growing up for heavens sake! But, I also feel that if we hadn't gotten married when we did, we wouldn't be at this pivotal part in our life.
Jeff is back is school and doing ROTC all in another town during the long, long weeks. Yes, I miss him SO much, but I am confident in his ability to get the job done and keep his eyes on the prize. I am also confident that our relationship as partners and parents has never been stronger because of this growing we did together. We understand certain things about each other now that we had absolutely NO clue about when we were 22 and 24.
Getting married young was very hard and the road was not easy.
Getting married young involves a lot of sacrifices that you might not be ready to give up just yet.
Getting married young means you will have to learn to grow and change with each other for the better.
Getting married young was my choice and I wouldn't do it any other way.
I love my husband. I love how he has changed through the years. I love him more today after everything we have been through and will continue to encounter together than I did the day I married him.
Getting married young is not for the faint of heart, and, in this day and age, marriage is not for everyone.
But I'm glad I found the one person I could walk through this life with who understands me and is headed in the same direction that I am.