Thoughts on Thursday {Married at 19}

Today is my 2 good friends anniversary, 10 years… This has me thinking a lot about marriage and how peoples perspective on it have changed, even in the last 10 years. 

TOT

For those of you who don’t know I was married once before, when I was just 19 years old. Mark and I had a great marriage that only ended because of cancer. However that isn’t the point of this post, the point of this post was at that time people were scared of 2- 19 year olds getting married because we couldn’t possibly understand the life long commitment we were getting into.  In our 5 1/2 years of marriage we experienced more life than many people married for 30+ years. We dealt with school and work for the first 2 years, then ‘normal life’ of just work and bills for about 4 months, then cancer for the last 3 years of our marriage.

Remarkably I had a number of people shocked that we stayed together. That the stress of life and cancer at such a young age didn’t destroy us, but to be honest that was never even a consideration. Our faith kept us strong and we worked together as a team through everything. We fully understood the commitment we made to one another and breaking that was never even a consideration.

Fast forward to 2009 when Mac and I got married, it’s a different ball game now. People get married and break up just because. Marriage is an excuse for a party not a life long commitment. Listen closely here, I do believe there are some very good reasons for marriages to break up, I get that some relationships just need to end. I will NEVER judge someone for being divorced, NEVER. That being said I strongly believe that many of these marriages should have never happened to begin with.  Other relationships may have worked out, if they had been approached with a life long commitment in mind, not just the fun of marriage.

As my mom likes to say marriage is not 50/50 its 100/100 each person must give it their all during the good and the bad. Long term marriages are not free of the bad either, don’t think ‘oh they made it 30 years because they had it easy.’ Some of the strongest marriages I know of made it through some very hard stuff life changing illnesse and adultery are 2 off the top of my head, these 1 couples fought for their marriage and are truly stronger now than they were before.

As Mac and I approach 5 years of marriage I can’t help but wonder how much this new perspective on marriage is going to influence us. How outside forces are so easy to say just walk away instead of work on it. Mac and I are both blessed to have parents with this perspective on marriage and they have both gone through some pretty rough stuff. I want to be and example for Apple and Gummy Bear so they can look back and realize how lucky they are to have parents that were a great example of what marriage should be.

What do you think of the worlds perspective on marriage today?

3 comments on “Thoughts on Thursday {Married at 19}

  1. I also have the same feelings about marriage as you do. I know that some marriages do fall apart and that sometimes divorce is the better option for the couple than trying to work it out. But I also believe that marriages that make it through the worst of times also come out stronger.

    My sister and BIL will be married 6 years this year and even though he has ALS and my sister is stressed with having to care for him, the kids and be a working mom at the same time, they are holding on to their marriage and not let his illness tear them apart even though there have been times when they discussed whether or not it would be easier if they just ended their marriage so that she could find someone new. But they love each other and if not for his illness, they would be having a wonderful life with their 2 kids. Seeing their struggles and seeing how hard they work at their relationship makes me appreciate my marriage a lot too.

    Jason and I just celebrated our 8th anniversary. We’ve had our ups and downs, especially after we had kids but we work through our problems and don’t threaten to divorce over every little thing. We respect each others opinions even if it doesn’t agree with our own and we don’t for the other person to become someone they don’t want to be. There’s also a lot of compromises made. Like you said, marriage isn’t 50/50. Both partners need to put in 100% effort to make it work. Marriage is a lot of work but so is a lot of the things worthwhile in life such as going to school, work and having kids. We all have to work hard and learn and grow from our experiences in order to build a stronger relationship.

    I know I can go on and on about marriage because I like to believe that marriage can work for anyone. You just have to stay optimistic and believe in your spouse even through the roughest times of your marriage. Of course, I do believe that some marriages should end in divorce, in particular ones where there is emotional, psychological, or physical abuse. In those cases, marriage shouldn’t have happened in the first place. I’ve met divorced women who were really unhappy in their marriages too and and rediscovered themselves and their potentials after they divorced.

  2. ooop, didn’t mean to submit the previous comment so early but I might as well have since I was getting a little long winded 🙂 Just let me add one more thing…

    Recently, Jason and I were watching a tv program about how there’s a growing trend in Japan (and even in the US, I think) where people who get divorced hold a divorce ceremony/party. They make it a big deal with fancy divorce cakes and a ceremony where they destroy their wedding rings. In most of the stories shared, the couples attended each other’s divorce parties and were celebrating with their friends and family over the end of their marriage. While I’m glad to see that the couples featured were in such good spirits over getting a divorce, it’s also a bit depressing to see because it seems like their marriage and divorce was just one big game and not something sacred and important but rather a reason for a party. For me, a divorce is an end to a sacred bond shared between two people and to see it celebrated and laughed about in such a way makes it sad.

    Anyway, I wish you and Mac a happy early anniversary!

  3. I agree with what Jen had to say, that it is hard to see divorce celebrated. Instead, I think we need to be honest with friends and family prior to a marriage if we don’t believe their union is one that can be life long. This is hard to do, but after seeing a friend totally torn up by an unhappy marriage and now a difficult divorce, I feel guilty for not being honest 15 years ago when I had serious concerns with how her fiance interacted with other people. They share 2 beautiful daughters who would not be here without their union, so of course I am thankful for that reason that their marriage was part of their lives, but the there is so much pain that came along with it and cannot be easily erased.

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