Not Engaged Yet

To all who want to marry young

This Dear Wendy letter, Wendy's response, and the comments from readers contain great advice.

http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-dear-wendy-i-regret-marrying-too-young/

Just wanted to share.
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Re: To all who want to marry young

  • edited December 2011
    Part of me was hoping I'd open this up to a big picture of a middle finger.

    Edit: Now that I've had a chance to read that. I'm glad you posted it, I think I'll print it out and scatter the flyers down over the local high schools.
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    "but you're SO FUNNY, button! you're so funny i kind of want to crawl into your skin and wear it as my own. " - NarwhalYou, my dear, are the Queen of the Beebees. Here's a tiara - Oceana 
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  • loopy82loopy82 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    That is good advice. Unfortunately I think that most young girls who are set on getting married wouldn't take it to heart and think that situation is different from the one they're in.
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  • edited December 2011
    Is it mean to say I hate young girls?
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    "but you're SO FUNNY, button! you're so funny i kind of want to crawl into your skin and wear it as my own. " - NarwhalYou, my dear, are the Queen of the Beebees. Here's a tiara - Oceana 
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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    I think marrying young works for some people but not for alot of people. I wish I could forward that to a few a my friends, but they would ignore it anyway.


  • edited December 2011
    Work says this website is forbidden! Can someone give me the jist of it?
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  • edited December 2011

    I am currently 23 years old and have been with my husband since I was 16 (married for three years; dated for four years before that). I love my husband very much, but I’ve recently been realizing how much I have missed out on, having met him before I was even a senior in high school. He’s four years older than me so he had a little more time to do things, but I’ve never lived on my own, never had a one-night stand, and never had the chance to grow into myself without having him there. When we first got married, I thought I was OK with that. But now, we’re getting to the point where we’re thinking of doing the “big stuff” (buying a house, having children) and I’m realizing that, wow, I really won’t be able to do any of these things. I find myself resenting my husband for taking my youth away from me. I was thinking that maybe a short term separation could be helpful. Let me live on my own and do stupid things for a few months just so I can say I have. I’m not looking to be unfaithful. I’m just unhappy. Do you think a couple could survive that? How do I even bring something like that up? I’m afraid if I don’t do something now, then I will when we’re older and have more responsibilities. — Young and Troubled

    I’m posting this letter in large part as a warning to other young women who think they’re so madly in love and can’t imagine not spending the rest of their lives with the guy they’ve been dating for the last few years. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the person you think you are at 18, 19, even 23, isn’t the same person you’re going to be in ten years. Sure, the same could be said about a 30-year-old woman versus who she’ll be at 50, but generally speaking, a woman has a pretty good sense of her core values as well as intellectual and emotional needs by her late 20s; these are aspects of her personality that tend to stay pretty static over the course of her life. If a woman doesn’t have these things figured out about herself when she marries, however, it’s not unusual for her to conform herself into identity-defining roles like “wife” and “mother.”

    What I’m saying to you, Young and Troubled, is that you’re freaking out not so much because you missed your chance of living on your own or having a one-night stand, but because you don’t really know who you are outside being someone’s wife. The bad news is that you’ve already made the vow to be faithful to your husband and to backtrack on that now or separate so you can “do stupid things for a few months” is likely to wreck your marriage. The good news is that having a one-night stand and doing stupid stuff isn’t the only — or even a good — way to figure out who you are. You can do some serious soul-searching and finding yourself and still remain faithfully — and happily — married.

    The first thing you need to do is have a serious sit-down with your husband and explain how you’re feeling. He isn’t the person who took your youth away. Your youth was never taken away — it was just spent a little differently than most people’s. He needs to know you aren’t ready for motherhood yet — that you aren’t ready for that kind of responsibility and to have a kid now would be unfair not just to you, but to him and to the child, as well. Any future kids you may have deserve to have a mother — and father — who feel strong in their ability to provide a stable, loving home. Neither of you is there yet, and I’d recommend some couples counseling long before you even begin seriously thinking about parenthood.

    The next thing you need to do is get a life. I mean that in the nicest, most gentle way. Find hobbies, activities, and friends outside your marriage. Join a club on your own, take a class or two — find interests (not “stupid” or self-destructive ones) that can help you create an identity for yourself outside of being a “wife.” Rather than go out and sleep with some random guy, think about taking a vacation without your husband. There are all kinds of solo retreats and adventures designed for women traveling alone. Our own Amelia wrote about one she took last August to a surf and yoga retreat in Costa Rica. If something like that isn’t in your budget, create your own! If you have a friend or a group of friends who can join you on a short road trip, great — get them together, find a spot a few hours away, pack a bag, grab some munchies, and hit the road. If you’ve got no one to go with you, go alone! It’s amazing how therapeutic miles of open highway can be. Bring a camera and a journal along and chronicle your trip as well as your thoughts and feelings along the way.

    Finally, get some spiritual guidance. That might mean going to church, learning to meditate, taking yoga, studying Buddhism. Maybe you already have a religion; if so, it’s time to reconnect to it. You need something or someone in your life who can teach you that figuring out who you are is much more about connecting to things that matter rather than flailing around between things that don’t (i.e., random hook-ups, and doing “stupid things”). It’s also about finding strength in your challenges and turning mistakes — like, say, marrying before you really know yourself — into learning experiences that can make you and your relationship stronger. It’s definitely possible to get through this period with your marriage — and identity — strongly intact, but it’s going to take some serious work on your part. Are you up for it?

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    "but you're SO FUNNY, button! you're so funny i kind of want to crawl into your skin and wear it as my own. " - NarwhalYou, my dear, are the Queen of the Beebees. Here's a tiara - Oceana 
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks Button!

    She basically said everything that has been said on here to past girls "in love". I agree with everyone else that the one's who need to read this probably won't listen. I would have married BF at 18 if we could have and wouldnt have let anyone tell me different. However, I am so glad that we didn't. We both got to do things we wanted to do and still do. I don't feel like I've wasted my youth on him and (hopefully) he feels lthe same. Whatever that girl decides to do, going out with wreckless abandonment is going to ruin their relationship.
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  • edited December 2011
    I love it.  Good find, KD. 
  • edited December 2011
    I think I might keep it and when we get another "I growner than my age" beebee I'll post it. I know it probably wouldn't make a difference but it can't hurt to try!
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  • edited December 2011
    Great article KD
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  • mjbustamantemjbustamante member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    My favorite part of the letter is the part of " I haven't had a one night stand yet"
    What?  SInce when are one night stands a required rite of passage.  This is not just about being too young to marry, this is about a twisted, warped idea of what singlehood should be. 
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_want-marry-young?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:fd01f7e2-ed64-426b-8bdb-54b06dd20140Post:8d6e40b2-7692-4f18-87f2-e39beb325402">Re: To all who want to marry young</a>:
    [QUOTE]My favorite part of the letter is the part of " I haven't had a one night stand yet" What?  SInce when are one night stands a required rite of passage.  This is not just about being too young to marry, this is about a twisted, warped idea of what singlehood should be. 
    Posted by mjbustamante[/QUOTE]

    I agree but I think that goes along with being immature and not experiencing being young and single. I also think Wendy nailed it on the head when she said that it's not about needing to have a one night stand but about knowing who you are. She didn't know herself at all so she thought she would have one night stands as a single girl. Maybe she would have but she doesn't have a clue because she didn't get a chance to learn about herself.
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  • edited December 2011
    There was a point in my life where for some reason I was hell bent on having a one night stand. It was freshman year of college and everyone else seemed to be doing it. I found out later that they just called it a one night stand like it was on purpose but really they guy just never called them back.

    I did try though, but it turned into a long term relationship. When I got out of that I tried again, still kind of thinking it was what I was supposed to do. Three years later when that relationship ended I was bitter and hell bent on destroying some nice guys life I figured a one night stand, something I felt the universe was trying to take away from me was the only way to do it...enter BF. LOL
    image image image image 
    "but you're SO FUNNY, button! you're so funny i kind of want to crawl into your skin and wear it as my own. " - NarwhalYou, my dear, are the Queen of the Beebees. Here's a tiara - Oceana 
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  • edited December 2011
    Haha, funny story Button! I never had a one night stand either. I was petrified!
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  • kjp+rkjp+r member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I posted awhile back about my foolish foray into marrying young.

    http://forums.theknot.com/default.aspx?path=http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_nice-see

    I wish I had been given all the blunt and honest advice you all have given the "I'm almost 20 something" girls on here.  I have no clue if I would have listened, but still. 

    Yay for this article. Boo for one night stands (is that really a necessity to becoming an adult?). And Button I love your idea to "print it out and scatter the flyers down over the local high schools!"
  • desertsundesertsun member
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    edited December 2011
    Love it! I esp. like the part about taking a vacation -- I think that's advice anyone could use. Sometimes we all feel a little lost. Thanks for bringing to the board, KD, and thanks Button for posting the text in the thread.
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  • edited December 2011
    Oh yeah, I remember your post kjp...the reason I liked the article is because it was an actual person (I assume) and not just us giving advice. What you said is perfect but you're right, who knows if they will listen after all, 17-21 year olds know everything! I know I sure did!
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  • hetshuphetshup member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I don't think it's a bad idea to slut it up a little while you are young. Wrap it up, but hey, why not? If I had to chose between a one night stand and traveling, I would choose to travel everytime.

    BTW my one one night stand is FI, so it didn't really work out very well. One night stand to friend to benefits to BF to FI and next? Future baby daddy.
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  • PaigeMcCPaigeMcC member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_want-marry-young?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:fd01f7e2-ed64-426b-8bdb-54b06dd20140Post:14920f97-54c4-437a-9b79-a474a47daf23">Re: To all who want to marry young</a>:
    [QUOTE]Iand next? Future baby daddy.
    Posted by hetshup[/QUOTE]

    sobe.

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  • edited December 2011
    I definitely think it depends on the maturity level, not so much the age.  I know several people in their 30's+ who view marriage as a good idea as long as it works, and then a lot of people who were married very yound and are still together.  (My parents for one, mom was 19 and my dad was 20).

    I don't mind people's opinions on marriage and age because I know everybody is different.  I do mind when people act like I'm not an adult and I can't decide what is best for me. 

    By the way, I'm getting married in November and I'll turn 22 next week.  No age concerns here :)
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  • edited December 2011
    I think this is a great article. However, I hope people do not focus so much on the age aspect instead of the maturity aspect. There are non teen/20 somethings who are extremely immature due to lack of experience and a willingness to grow. Its about growing and learning about yourself before marriage regardless of age.
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  • edited December 2011
    Every 19 year old thinks they're mature and have had SOOOO much life experience, I don't care what they've been though, they simply haven't been alive long enough to find out who they really are.
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    "but you're SO FUNNY, button! you're so funny i kind of want to crawl into your skin and wear it as my own. " - NarwhalYou, my dear, are the Queen of the Beebees. Here's a tiara - Oceana 
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  • edited December 2011
    I thought I was soooo mature and knew everything when I was 19... then I started working at a middle school and realized that all 13 year olds are soooo mature and know everything!  I remember bursting into laughter the moment I realized I was just like these kids, after a parent/teacher conference I was translating for where the kid said something particularly immature about how mature she was.

    Some 19 year olds are probably more mature than some 30+ year olds I know, but these 30+ year olds aren't anywhere near ready for marriage either!  Still, I know some people who married younger than 19 and were happily married nearly 60 years, so I reckon it depends on the couple.

    Personally I just don't understand what the rush is.  If you love someone and want to spend the rest of your life with them, then they'll still be there ready to marry you in five, ten years!
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  • edited December 2011
    I loved this article, thanks so much for posting. A good friend of mine is getting married this August because she just has to be married to her bf asap(21 and 22 years old). They are head over heels in love and I understand wanting to be together sooner, but I can't help but feel that they're desire to wait until they are married to have sex is a major push for this. They have compromised a lot of their plans to ensure their wedding goes the way they wanted in order to get married sooner. I truly hope that it isn't a mistake and wish they had read something like this before setting the date and such. I will definitely pass it on to my best friend though, who is also considering getting married young. Thanks for posting!
  • edited December 2011
    I wouldn't suggest this for everyone, but i know that my parents got married rather young and they've been together for a long long time.  and by "rathey young" i mean, my mom was 17 and graduated high school two days before the wedding. (No, she wasn't pregnant... haha they didn't have my sister until 2 years later to make sure no one thought that) My dad was 21 i think.  Even though they're happy, they do say that it is better to be on your own for a while before you start wanting to settle down. I agree.  I think that it is less the age thing and more needing to learn how to be really independent before you decide you want to get married.  Live on your own, deal with some crappy roommates and pay your own bills. Get to the point where you don't need this person in your life, but it's a lot better with them in it.
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  • edited December 2011
    I will say that I think 'young' is different now from when some older generations got married.  Two or three generations ago, many women got married at 19 or were considered an old maid by 25.  A lot of those relationships were not the 'best' but they stayed together because that is what you did.  Plus many women went to college to catch a husband, instead of to have a career.  Today is a very different world. 

  • edited December 2011
    Mutley I agree with you 100%, I couldn't think of a way to say that w/o sounding like a crank.
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    "but you're SO FUNNY, button! you're so funny i kind of want to crawl into your skin and wear it as my own. " - NarwhalYou, my dear, are the Queen of the Beebees. Here's a tiara - Oceana 
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  • edited December 2011
    Exactly true. Yes, our grandmothers may have gotten married at 19 but they weren't always happy and just stayed married because that's what you did.

    My mom got married at 21, dad was 27, and even though my parents are very happy they both have said they wished they waited a while. They wish they had done a bit more and been more financially stable. They had me 15 months after they got married and were not financially ready for me. They would have been more careful that they didn't get pregnant if they hadn't been married.

    I would have married my bf at 19 if he asked. I thought I was SO IN LOVE with him...till I found out he cheated on me. Honestly, I would have taken him back if he wanted me to. I'm so glad I didn't. I learned from that mistake and have moved on. I am much more mature and have done so much more with my life even though I'm only going to be 26 on our wedding day. Yes, you can say I'll change a lot between now and 30 even but the vast majority of growing up is done in those college years, I think.

    Ok, rant over.
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  • mjbustamantemjbustamante member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Marriage is awesome, I love being married and I am glad that I waited for him ( I was 30 when we married)  My parents married young, way younger than me and at that age they were defiantely ready for marriage.  Our society today encourages a delayed adulthood which can make it difficult for twentysomethings to sacrifice what they think its fun and exciting for a boring married life.  I disagree with that notion.  Being married became a blessing, I am enjoying it, I actually like my husband, go figure.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_want-marry-young?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:fd01f7e2-ed64-426b-8bdb-54b06dd20140Post:19d2aadc-eadc-45e9-a85f-912373a1d5ed">Re: To all who want to marry young</a>:
    [QUOTE]Marriage is awesome, I love being married and I am glad that I waited for him ( I was 30 when we married)  My parents married young, way younger than me and at that age they were defiantely ready for marriage.  Our society today encourages a delayed adulthood which can make it difficult for twentysomethings to sacrifice what they think its fun and exciting for a boring married life.  I disagree with that notion.  Being married became a blessing, I am enjoying it, I actually like my husband, go figure.
    Posted by mjbustamante[/QUOTE]

    What does this have to do with anything?  <a href="#" title="Click to view a larger photo" onclick="return gSiteLife.LoadForumPage('ForumImage', 'plckPhotoId', '8447199b-0d2c-4d10-aa16-3935d456f14d', 'plckRedirectUrl', gSiteLife.EscapeValue(window.location.href));"> <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/images/store/4/10/8447199b-0d2c-4d10-aa16-3935d456f14d.medium.gif" alt="" /></a>

    I love being married as well, but it has nothing to do with this post. 

    And who knew that you could be '<em>defiantly</em> ready for marriage.'
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