Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On Marrying Young: Exception to the "Rules"

I can't explain my excitement when I received interest from several ladies interested in contributing their stories and voices to the topic, "On Marrying Young".  Kaylene recently stumbled upon my blog and I've enjoyed the opportunity to get to know her, as I hope you do too.  When I received her guest post in my inbox, I just couldn't stop reading.  Enjoy!


I'd like to thank Mandi for letting me guest post! I found her blog by chance, while entering some cloth diaper giveaways. I saw her blog's name was Catholic Newlywed. This interested me because I was a Catholic newlywed not too long ago. When I read her posts about being young & married, I was really interested in sharing my perspective.

Mr. & Mrs. 11/22/08 married young
For me and my husband, it is pretty clear that we got married young. We were the youngest people everywhere we went during wedding preparations. I was given odd looks at wedding shops, and I often felt eyes glaring at my stomach to decide if there was a bump or not. My husband's fraternity brothers gave him a hard time because he was leaving them, rather than being excited for his happiness. My maid of honor (my sister) couldn't drive yet, and was still in high school, so that put a limit on the things she could do. None of our friends really knew bridal attendant etiquette, as ours was their first wedding to be a part of. We also really felt out of place at our Engaged Encounter when we introduced ourselves as students because everyone else had 'real' jobs. Suffice it to say, we felt as if we were in uncharted waters.

After getting married, it became even more obvious that we were quite a rarity in modern America. In college, people go out for drinks, go dancing, have blind dates their friends set them up on, or join single groups through their church. We didn't need to do any of that, as we were already married (we had fun though, don't worry). We often felt out of place with many of our peers who were still living up the 'college life,' and we were settled down. I think that was harder on my husband than myself. Sometimes he felt like he should have the young & carefree attitude that his old fraternity brothers had. It caused some friction for us, but we worked through it together. I got excited when our church started to form a young married group for fellowship and spiritual growth. We were hoping to meet people like us, but after the first meeting, it turns out we didn't fit in so great there either. We were the youngest people there by about 6 years! The group was great and we made some sort-of-friends, but they had professional jobs & several already had kids. What we needed was a Young Catholic Student Newlywed group....guess there aren't too many of those around.

America has several unwritten, but often talked about, rules. You can't get married until you are done with school (whichever degree that means for you). The only reason you are supposed to get married before school is completed is if you are pregnant, broke, or in the military. You aren't supposed to get married without an extensive dating period, or at least not until you've known each other for a "long" time. Our marriage is an exception to those rules.

Exception to modern rule - met, engaged, married in less than 2 years
3/17/07 look how young we look!
My husband and I met my sophomore year of college--his freshman year. We attended schools an hour and a half apart. I can honestly say it was love at first sight conversation. We talked for hours. I could write an entire chapter book on how much of a God 'thing' our meeting was, but suffice it to say... We were meant to be together. We were essentially inseparable from April 2007 on, after meeting on St. Patrick's Day. We spent way too much money on gas to visit each other; and we each got one speeding ticket on the same stretch of highway between our schools. Our relationship hit some rocky points, but it only made us stronger. Attending Mass together really helped solidify our decision to be together. We continually heard homilies related to marriage, and we knew it was our calling. We were engaged Memorial Day weekend 2008 and married in November the same year. If you can do simple math, you know we were still in college.

Exception to modern rule - married young for love; not for pregnancy, money, or anything else
our 1st apartment's "front porch"
My husband transferred to my school, we got an apartment, life went on. Getting married in school really wasn't a big deal to me. We knew we were meant to be married, and felt God's hand in it all, so we didn't want to wait. A lot (re: all) of our family didn't think it was a good idea. I'm sure some thought I was pregnant. I figure some thought it'd quickly end in divorce. Many assumed one of us would drop out. They thought we were too young and should finish school before marriage--their words, not ours. I truly believe it was God's plan for us to meet and marry when we did.

Exception to modern rule - dating was NOT the best part of our relationship
3 months preg - Sept '10
I've heard people say marriage is hard, and that dating was the best your relationship will be---but I don't think that's true at all. My husband and I are a match made in Heaven and our life is wonderful. Dating was hard for us. It felt like we were trying to pull two magnets apart. Being married has been more natural and much easier. Something that has helped us tremendously, married young or not, is remembering that our marriage may not always be happy but it will be unified. We are together because of His plan, and with His help, we will get through anything. Marrying young is not the 'rule' in America today, but it certainly isn't wrong or taboo! If God is calling you to be an exception, don't let societal rules stop you.

May 14, 2010 Graduation Day!
Being married in college certainly isn't for everyone...but I'm so glad we did. It is fulfilling to know we saw our vocations & said yes to God. We get to grow up together. We have only ever known adulthood as a married couple. We have experienced everything that young single adults face, but we've done it together. I like that. We are settling unto our roles as husband and wife without having to 'undo' individual roles. We are developing routines and world views together. Anything we disagree on, we talk about and work out.

To me, the best thing about being married so young is that we have our whole lives to perfect marriage.

My husband said the nice thing about being married young is coming home to someone who loves him. No bar scenes or blind dates. We've already got a good thing going & are lucky to have found each other so young.

To read more about out life and our new baby girl, check out Letters from Momma. I blog about cloth diapers, Gianna's milestones, & parenting topics--including a giveaway every now and then.

Please check out the other posts (including some great guest posts) in my On Marrying Young series.


  1. This is really beautiful! Thank you for sharing! It seems like Young Adult ministry in the Catholic Church means ages 20 - 40, so 6 years younger isn't too bad, though of course it is wonderful to find people with whom you fit in perfectly.

    "My husband said the nice thing about being married young is coming home to someone who loves him. No bar scenes or blind dates. We've already got a good thing going & are lucky to have found each other so young." So true! Please pray for those of us who still can only pray, hope, and wait for our spouses, and know that we'll pray for your marriage and family, too!

  2. Whoa! Kaylene, I recognize that graduation picture. My husband works in Jesse Hall and we just went to Tiger Walk with the kids a few weeks ago. :) Sorry, that has nothing to do with anything...but it startled me to see such a familiar local place when I wasn't expecting it.

    Probably will post this over at your place, too... :)

  3. Thanks for this post, and for the series on "Marrying Young." My husband and I met in college and got married 2 weeks after I graduated. I was 22 and he was 23 years old. People still look at us and say, "You're married?!"

    Hopefully your families have changed their minds and are supportive now. Ours were very skeptical, but they've come around!

  4. I can relate to feeling like magnets being pulled apart! My fiance and I aren't particularly young, we're both 26, though we look several years younger. We met several years ago in college and were friends, but lost touch for a couple years after graduating. Monday will be 1 year since our first date and we're getting married this May. Not being married feels unnatural, like something's out of place.


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